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Gamers Don't Need Vista or DX 10 Says Carmack

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the stick-with-what-works dept.

PC Games (Games) 257

Freshly Exhumed writes "In an interview with Marcus Yam at Daily Tech legendary PC/Console game creator John Carmack holds forth on DirectX 10: 'Personally, I wouldn't jump at something like DX10 right now. I would let things settle out a little bit and wait until there's a really strong need for it.' and then zings Microsoft's marketers over DX10's mandatory use of the Vista OS: 'Carmack then said that he's quite satisfied with Windows XP, going as far to say that Microsoft is artificially forcing gamers to move to Windows Vista for DX10.' There are a few good tidbits on Xbox 360 vs. PS3 development, and a fairly clear disinterest in Wii as a platform for his company's products is shown."

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Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev. (5, Insightful)

xantho (14741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680500)

Considering that he's got a long history of doing incredible graphics on relatively garbage hardware, e.g., real scrolling, platformer style on a PC that just couldn't do it using conventional means, using ray tracing to render a 3d looking scene in 2d, I'd think that pushing out gorgeous graphics on the Wii would be a nice challenge for him. Then again, why tackle that problem for the third (fourth, fifth?) time. It gets old hat after a while.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (4, Interesting)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680630)

He may still be a little angry towards Nintendo because of Wolfenstein 3d for SNES. Id Software had to remove blood, Nazi stuff and more in order to port the game. I still remember he said he will never port a game to a Nintendo platform again, but then again Quake and QuakeII eventually got released for N64.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680778)

Things aren't the same as they used to be. The video game landscape has changed. Nintendo has plenty of games with blood now, and probably wouldn't stop you from killing Nazis in a game, which I fail to see anything wrong with. If you're going to have a shooter where you kill people, you might as well be killing Nazis. And not all of Carmacks games were bloodfests either. There's plenty of games that he could have ported to Nintendo without making any changes. Think of Commander Keen. Anyway, Nintendo isn't the family friendly system it used to be. Well, it's probably still the most family friendly system, that contains the most games playable by the entire family, but that doesn't stop it from having it's share of violent games.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (2, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680866)

The video game landscape has changed. Nintendo has plenty of games with blood now, and probably wouldn't stop you from killing Nazis in a game, which I fail to see anything wrong with.

Evidence - Wii Launch title: Call of Duty 3.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (5, Informative)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681726)

Carmack: You know, we've never had a good relationship with Nintendo, from really early products we did a long time ago. And for the most part, we just said, "Fine." We're busy with other stuff, and we just haven't been that tight with Nintendo. On the up side, I really do respect what they're doing, where for years, I've been saying--you probably heard me at QuakeCon--I will go on about how IO devices are where the really big differences are going to be made in gaming. You can get ten times the graphics power, and you can make a prettier picture, but when somebody makes a new IO device that really changes the way that people interact with the game, that's going to have a larger benefit there. So I'm really pleased with what they're doing with the Wii and with the DS--and they're doing innovative things. But our current generation of game technology is not targeted at the Wii. Maybe that was a mistake on our part originally, but we have been looking strictly at the 360, PS3 and PC as what we want to simultaneously develop on. We probably aren't going to be able to hit the Wii with the same technology platform.

Source [gameinformer.com] .

This is actualy a dupe of an older /. report of the orginal article, as opposed to this one where it is a /. report of a summery of the original article.

So yes. Carmack (and thus ID) have stayed away from Nintendo because of bad dealings, and no real NEED to work with them. This time around he is thinking it might have been a bad idea to stay away from the Wii.

My bet is that once they have the current Tech that they are working on up and running he will look into making stuff for the Wii. And I for one look foward to it.

Also, he is looking to port Orcs and Elves to the DS. Source [kotaku.com]

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680826)

He may still be a little angry towards Nintendo because of Wolfenstein 3d for SNES

I sincerely doubt that. For one thing, we talking about something that happened over a decade ago. For another, Carmack strikes me as having too much character to hold a grudge that long. Nintendo got their comeupance during the N64 and Gamecube generations. As a result, they reinvented themselves into a very different company. A company that is a bit more tolerant of Id's brand of gaming than they were in the past.

I'm sure that Mr. Carmack is still *wary* of dealing with them (they're still the most "family friendly" of the console makers), but I sincerely doubt that he's being childish in his dealings with them.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680674)

I'd think that pushing out gorgeous graphics on the Wii would be a nice challenge for him.

You need to keep in mind that Id Software has made a business out of driving better graphical performance out of more and more advanced hardware, generally planning their engines to target the hardware available in the future rather than at the time of engine creation. So for them, the Wii is 90 degrees offset from their core competency while the XBox 360 and PS3 are more along the lines of what Id has long been interested in. To that end, the Wii is going to seem like too simplistic a device to be of interest to Id.

I think you'll find that it will take quite a while before the industry as a whole gets used to the idea of the Wii. It was a somewhat unexpected development (in comparison to the years of advance notice they're used to), leaving developers wondering what exactly should they be doing with this thing? If the Wii continues to deliver in the long term, however, you may see Id warm up to the idea a lot more. Not to mention that the next generation of consoles will be fought without a gamepad in sight. ;)

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (0)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681716)

Carmack's style of games don't fit the Wii. His games aren't known for innovative game play. Making a game for the Wii is uniquely different from making a game for anything else. So even if Carmack ports games to the Wii, they are going to be just that: ports of games.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (4, Insightful)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680784)

Not really, Carmack is a polygon guru. The Wii is decidedly not about the graphics and more about the gameplay and usability. Thus, Carmack is not interested because his skills lay in making games that use traditional interaction methods.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (1)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680836)

Why don't he push the graphical limits on cell phones then? Cause he's not about obsolete or underpowered hardware. This is the problem with the Wii. While Publishers might find it appealling cause lots are selling, game developers aren't going to creatively make new games for antiquated hardware. The console lends itself to ports and 'gimmicky' games (rhythm, wacky use of the control setup, etc), but no one is going teach the old dog new tricks.

I kind of look at the Wii as the dollar theatre of gaming (if they still have those). It's definitely a publsher's dream though, especially one that has a back catalog of on the PS2/XBOX, cause they are just a port/new control scheme/new levels away from having a brand new $50 box in retail.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681026)

Why don't he push the graphical limits on cell phones then?

Um... he did?

http://www.doomrpg.com/ [doomrpg.com]

Here's an interview with him on his role in its development:

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=62 343 [eurogamer.net]

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (2, Interesting)

Kurayamino-X (557754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682744)

Not only that, but he's said in an interview that he enjoys programming for phones, that working with the limited resources is fun. He also codes ordinary hardware drivers to "Ground" himself if I remember correctly. So yeah, he does everything from drivers to simple games to brain liquifying 3D awesome. I would not put coaxing a little more Uberness out of a Wii past him.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (1)

abandonment (739466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682804)

not to mention that he's been talking about doing many other mobile games and also potentially DS titles as well...

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17682132)

I'm glad your not a game developer. It's people like you who immediately jump to the conclusion that everything about the Wii HAS to be 'gimmicky' who are trying to spoil the experience for everyone else you tell this garbage too. I bet years ago you were probably saying the same thing about more buttons, rumble features, and dual analogue sticks.

NO MORE FOOD FOR YOU TROLL!

I'm Not Surprised (-1, Offtopic)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680870)

Although interesting, there are plenty of games that simply will not work well on the Wii. Probably games Carmack are very interested in working in. Besides, the "bleeding edge" on the Wii is the HMI where the rest of the hardware is old and somewhat undesirable to work on.

Carmack strikes me as the kind of guy who wants to make a crazy car for 2008. Working on the Wii is like trying to retrofit a 1990 with a bunch of modern features. Some like the challenge but he may simply not.

Re:I'm Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17681426)

Carmack strikes me as the kind of guy who wants to re-do the same game for 2009 in graphics that will seem impressive at that point in time. Working on the Wii can be like modifying a current game designed for competing consoles with lesser capabilities to take advantage of the Wii's modern features, or it can be like creating somethinig new altogether. Some like the challenge but he may simply not.

Presented: A slightly different viewpoint.

Also:
Although interesting, there are plenty of games that simply will not work well on the Wii. Probably games Carmack are very interested in working in.
FPS would not work well with directional controls in the left hand and a multi-button pointing device in the right??

Besides, the "bleeding edge" on the Wii is the HMI where the rest of the hardware is old and somewhat undesirable to work on.
With the competition, everything is old except that the maximum graphics detail potential has increased.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681430)

Then again, why tackle that problem for the third (fourth, fifth?) time. It gets old hat after a while.

This is Id. "Old hat" is their motto.

He is, but not for the current project. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17682374)

In the past iD has had very bad business relations with Nintendo and at one point vowed never to work with them again. So they didn't even think about supporting the new nintendo console when they started development on this new game.

However, as this article points out, Carmak has stated that he is very interested in what Nintendo is doing on the Wii and DS in terms of pushing the boundry on user-interfaces. Furthermore, in other interviews he has made it clear that the reason they is not supporting the Wii in the next iD game is because they are fairly far along in the development process and don't want to change gears half way through. He would rather continue to focus on the PC and XBox versions instead (plus a half-assed PS3 port).

Remember that most of the Wii games that have been released so far are from developers with strong gamecube experience, and many of the games are basically quick ports from projects originally targeting the gamecube. Changing gears half way through a project is not something that you normally want to do, and so I think it is predictable that iD was not going to do so for the Wii.

The impression that I have gotten from various interviews with Carmak is that he is very much considering targetting the Wii on one of iD's latter projects - either his next big project after the one in development, or one of the farmed out projects done by Raven etc - provided that Nintendo treats them decently. Given the shift in leadership at Nintendo and their supposedly better focus on third-party developers, this could very well end up working out.

Re:Interesting that he's not interested in Wii dev (4, Informative)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682584)

I can understand John's sentiment. I just started doing Wii development this week. It doesn't have stencil support, pixel shaders, or vertex shaders -- even the PS2 had vertex shaders; which I'm already missing the general "funkiness" of the PS2. Faking the stencil with such hacks as the alpha buffer is getting kind of tiring.

One of our other developers jokingly called it a "GameCube 1.5" -- which is very appropiate.

The nunchuck (controller) is cool, and while it would be up to design to come up with some innovate uses, the hardware by itself, just isn't that impressive. Of course, it is always the games (or lack of them) that make (or break) a platform.

Cheers

OpenGL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17680512)

Interesting that he seems to praise Direct3D 9 when for so long he was a strong advocate of OpenGL.

Re:OpenGL (5, Interesting)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680900)

That just shows he's objective. I work in game development, and back when he said OpenGL was better (vs. DX6) I believe he was right, and now that he prefers DX9, I believe he's right too. His integrity is pretty good. He focuses on the technology right in front of him, without being distracted by politics or favortism.

Re:OpenGL (4, Interesting)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681300)

Exactly. It also shows that the slowness with with OGL incorporates new features in a huge hinderence. Back when he was making those statements OGL was much better to develop for than DX. DX though didn't stand still and has eclipsed OGL for the most part.

Re:OpenGL (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681634)

DX though didn't stand still and has eclipsed OGL for the most part

Of course, you're quick to forget that MS was on OGL board and made all they could to slow it down, then resigned when they thought they had slowed it enough. A shame really, that people don't see these evil tactics from MS. OGL have taken up since as soon as MS quitted the board, how strange. Hopefully it's not too late, as it's the only cross-platform professional 3D toolkit.

Re:OpenGL (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681802)

MS was on OGL board and made all they could to slow it down,"

Apparently they quit because it wasn't moving quickly enough for them and they wanted to concentrate on DX (according to ZDNet)

Have you got a source for that there that I haven't seen? A very wide search of Google turned up nothing at all.

Re:OpenGL (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681848)

True. I wish more people would use OGL, b/c that would mean more games for os x and linux. At this point though OGL has a tough hill to climb to be used heavily in the game space again.

Re:OpenGL (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17682100)

Exactly. It also shows that the slowness with with OGL incorporates new features in a huge hinderence. Back when he was making those statements OGL was much better to develop for than DX. DX though didn't stand still and has eclipsed OGL for the most part.

I don't think OGL is eclipsed by D3D. Just look at the most recent OGL version, which is 2.1. It supports pretty much the same features as D3D9. And with the new extensions, like EXT_geometry_shader4 and EXT_gpu_shader4 and others, OGL is on par with D3D10.
Also this year we will see OGL 3.0 which will be a thorough revamp of OGL.
So in conclusion, I have to disagree that D3D eclipses OGL in any way of functionality. In way of market share though, that's another matter.

Re:OpenGL (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681372)

Yes, I noticed that. I suspect he switched at some point during the long hiatus while the ARB failed to finalise OpenGL 2.0. Things seem to have picked up a bit in the OpenGL camp recently, so maybe he will switch back in a few years.

Let's just hope.... (1)

Rendo (918276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680528)

That Cedega supports DX10, that way if you don't WANT to move over to Vista (At least legally, but that's not what /.ers do :P) you can do it for free and do it on a dual boot on XP, or go full over with Linux. Also, we're all aware someone will make a hack around to play DX10 games on Vista anyways, so it's a win win in any situation. No Vista, more games :D FREEEEEE

Make up your mind, Carmack... (0, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680530)

...is DX10 relevant or not? If it is irrelevant, then the move to Vista is not forced. If the move to Vista is forced, then by his own argument DX10 is a relevant factor, and he contradicts himself.

I can't see a way that the move to Vista for gaming can be at any point independent of DX10 performance - in fact, along with overall OS performance I would say it was one of the crucial factors in whether I make a switch away from XP.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

xantho (14741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680582)

I think he's complaining that DX10 shouldn't require Vista and that it's just a Microsoft trick to make DX10 look awesome to convince more people to buy a new OS that they don't actually need.

I mean, that jives with what he's saying, right?

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680672)

From what I've heard, it really does require Vista - fundamental differences in the way the OS is built - but then I'm not an expert on that kind of thing, so I could be wrong.

He is John Carmack - I have a lot of respect for the guy. I'm more than willing to admit that he could be right about something :D

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (2, Funny)

pdbaby (609052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680742)

Nothing they've talked about would explain why it requires Vista... it's an API for talking to your graphics card, not some mystical operating system component like Internet Explorer!

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (4, Informative)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681378)

DX10 by itself doesn't require Vista, but they decided to get rid of the legacy cruft and re-wrote the entire graphics system. This allows neat things like multi-tasking and virtual memory handling for GPUs, but requires completely new drivers. This also supposedly enables a much higher performance, a game running on DX10 should be a lot faster than the same game running on DX9, assuming that they both use the exact same shaders. So yes, they could port DX10 to XP, but this would require two different kinds of DX10, with different features (no virtual GPU memory on XP = lame), and with different levels of performance. IMO the clean break is a good thing, but the HDCP bloat makes me hesitate to upgrade.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680764)

I tend to believe carmack on this one. As one of, if not the, best game graphic programmers in our time I think he's qualified to make the judgement here. In short, he knows what he's talking about.

And the only people who have said definiatively that DX10 requires vista to function has been Microsoft. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they might have a bit of a bias.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680874)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they might have a bit of a bias.

Fair point.

All I want to know about is performance. If DX10 outperforms DX9, and there's no sign of MS relenting on an XP release, I'll move on. I've always said that for me the game experience outweighs any minor hoops I have to jump through to do get it.

How I obtain my copy of Vista, however, will be another matter entirely...

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681610)

In the past, 3D polygon rendering was implemented as a bolt-on on to the windows system (X-Windows, MS-Windows, ...). The server would accelerate basic 2D operations such as block-copying and block-pasting using one set of hardware functions, while 3D operations would be handled by another. Each application would have the standard GUI windows, and a special object to handle 3D graphics acceleration with all the effects like transparency.
But since 2D operations are simply a subset of the 3D operations, it would be more efficient to implement the
entire windows system using the 3D acceleration.

Combined with the desire of developers to use effects like semi-transparent windows, the only practical way
is to implement the windows system using the 3D graphics hardware.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680686)

Don't underestimate the willingness of the masses to jump on the bandwagon. Even if DX10 is not much better, it is possible that most people will buy the marketing and "upgrade" to Vista.

The next step would be that some games are developed for DX10 only, creating pressure to switch for those who really prefer XP.

Personally, I hope that Vista will fail by pissing off too many people with DRM and new bugs, but that is far from certain.

MMORPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17680992)

New games developed for DX10 may not be the greatest problem, how about MMORPGs and their contracts with Microsoft? Do any corporate contracts include mandatory upgrades? Though SOE runs many of their servers on Linux, original Everquest is run on Windows servers. No idea about the other companies. I imagine many would return to real life rather then "upgrade" as many did when they switched to DX9 rather then get new graphics cards and/or computers. If you consider pressure from Microsoft and the graphics cards companies, how long till MMORPGs force a switch to DX10 for their users? How many users will this run off? Imagine there will be tons of die hard raiders switch to "the latest and the greatest", while many others tell them where to go. In fact many of those will probably insist on the switch as well.

Re:MMORPG (4, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682820)

As it stands, that's all irrelevant.

World of Warcraft IS the bulk of the MMORPG market. World of Warcraft has an active OS X user base. The OS X client uses OpenGL, exclusively.

World of Warcraft will never require DirectX 10 exclusively; it will always have an OpenGL client.

Ergo, the bulk of the MMORPG market will not require DirectX 10.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680702)

No, the move to Vista is forced. Most game developers never develop on old technology, whether their product really takes advantage of the new features or not. In a year, many new games will be requiring DX10. Buy Vista if you want to play them.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680844)

Vista adoption is anticipated to be the slowest of any version of windows released yet. Game makers will not be releasing DX10 only games any time soon, unless they want to assure their game fails in the market due only being available to the small piece of the pie. There will be DX9 tandem versions at the very least. We may even see developers moving back towards OpenGL...afterall, it works on XP and Vista and if you're developing for one API thats the one thats going to work for the most people these days. In the past it was direct3d...but that was because existing users could just download the latest version. Now they need to buy a new operating system.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680960)

Besides that, games (at least the games published by Microsoft, which is no small chunk of the market) are likely to have other artificial "requirements" for Vista, whether or not those requirements are technically legit. Just like their games "require" XP now (but will run fine on Win2k if you can get around the installer's OS check).

I don't know what the requirements are for slapping a "Designed For Windows" logo on the box, but MS may well stop handing them out to any publisher that doesn't restrict the games to Vista.

All in all, my next gaming machine (I tend to get one every two or three generations of Moore's Law) will probably come loaded with Vista. Not that I especially want it, I just don't think I'll be able to install games without it.

Re: Make up your mind, Carmack (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680816)

That's a weird contradiction you've forced on him that isn't actually what he is saying.

He doesn't see much compelling about DX10 for game developers. He doesn't see anything compelling about Vista for game developers. DX10 will still be relevent -- an attribute which may or may not have anything to do with the quality of DX10 -- if game developers use it for games and because of the artificial Vista tie-in will still give gamers a reason to use Vista. He's saying Microsoft tied DX10 to Vista to try to compel you to switch to Vista for artificial reasons, not that you are actually being forced.

I can't see a way that the move to Vista for gaming can be at any point independent of DX10 performance

Um, yeah, that's part of his point. There's no reason to move to Vista for gaming outside of DX10, and there's no reason for DX10 to be tied to Vista outside of giving you said reason to move to Vista for gaming. Otherwise it would be independent. You see?

Re: Make up your mind, Carmack (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680964)

Having had a chance to mull on it, I probably agree with you, and as it turns out and referring to comments above, I probably misinterpreted his point slightly. No harm done, unless he hunts me down with a BFG...

i.e. All the rest of you buggers who're going to make the same point - I agree now!

Re: Make up your mind, Carmack (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681386)

I salute you for reading comments with an open mind and changing your opinion. Doesn't happen often (ever?) on slashdot! :)

Re: Make up your mind, Carmack (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682650)

No harm done, unless he hunts me down with a BFG...

I think you're safe. For one, he's not the vindictive type. For two, the BFG is still hypothetical, unless Carmack has been diverting resources from Armadillo Aerospace to Armadillo Armaments.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681084)

I'm intrigued as to what's possible in DX10 that isn't possible in DX9 - more complex shaders, or something?

I'd be interested to see screenshots of graphical demos of things which simply can't be done on DX9. Because otherwise, I've no idea if it's an incremental upgrade, or something utterly spectacular which we're all missing out on. Carmack's comments seem to suggest it's the former, rather than the latter, however...

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681658)

Apparently the main items are:-

- Replacement of pixel/vertex shaders with multi-purpose geometry shaders.
- Sharing of Windows virtual memory between RAM and VRAM.
- Tighter integration with OS, meaning access from game to the API to the card is quicker.

I don't think we'll see any demos until Vista is released, but apparently Crysis [ign.com] is a DX10-enabled game, as is the new Unreal Tournament.

Re:Make up your mind, Carmack... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682920)

DX 10 benefits:

Geometry shaders (easier live deformation of polygon arrangement on the graphics card).
Force graphics cards to support 32bit throughout (better color precision for longer programs).
Stringent Shader Model 4.0 & reduced use of cap bits (reduce need to specialize your shaders and other software per hardware platform).
Better replication with deformation (when you need to draw a thousand of the same tank in an rts, with minor variations).

Wait (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680546)

Thank you John for saying the obvious. Wait for Vista and DX10 to be fully supported (ie DX10 video cards) before upgrading. Right now there is, what, 2-3 Video cards that are DX10 cards? Obviously the safe thing to do is wait for a bit.

What John or anyone else says doesn't matter. People who have to get the latest will get Vista as soon as they can, a lot of other people will wait. John could say never get Vista or get Vista right now and the same thing would happen.

Jobs says get a Mac. How many here are going to get one just because Jobs said so? Now how many are going to hold off on Vista because Carmack said to.

Re:Wait (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680802)

Now how many are going to hold off on Vista because Carmack said to.
You seem to be suggesting that he has something against Vista and wants you to boycott it, which misses point of what he's saying.

The point is that his company isn't going to be developing Vista-only games in the foreseeable future, or else he would be encouraging migration. As his company is fairly representative of the big business games industry this probably indicates something about how quickly DX10 will be adopted.

This is good news for those of us who don't want to upgrade from XP until we have to.

Re:Wait (1, Offtopic)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680846)

Pretty funny. I won't get Vista for probably quite a while. Vista just isn't important to me for anything I do, and I haven't played the last 20 games to completion that I bought, so until I actually complete (or even start a couple) there's no reason for me to migrate to Vista.

As for the hardware, the DX10 cards (nVidia's 8800 GT'x' series) are awesome performers, but they're awesome even with XP, ie, do not require Vista. So the hardware gains seem to be available without DX10 although DX10 may expand on what's available.

Regarding Jobs and a mac, I bought a mac just as 10.3 was released (a PowerBook). I bought it partly because I wanted a nice small laptop that did a few things. It turned out to do most of my home needs so well that it took over all photo/video/mail duties from my Intel system. I just recently bought the Macbook Pro. Here's where it gets good. Despite years of MS indoctrination that caused me to "migrate" my PB account to a separate account the first time, I repeated the migration and my MBP account was exactly like my PB account, complete with all programs, settings, everything. To say it raised an eyebrow was an understatement. MS OSes can't even migrate accounts between two copies of the same version of the OS on the same platform, much less between two different platforms, with different OS versions and different application versions. Even my secure wireless settings were transferred.

That's why the Mac is gaining traction. It just works.

Re:Wait (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681622)

As for the hardware, the DX10 cards (nVidia's 8800 GT'x' series) are awesome performers, but they're awesome even with XP, ie, do not require Vista.

The new nVidia cards have a completely different shader model to the older ones. If you develop using DirectX 9, you can't take advantage of this directly (you can if you use nVidia's SDK, however, and this works with DirectX or OpenGL). This situation is quite similar to when shaders were first released; you had to use nVidia's Cg (or write assembly code for the really early cards).

Last time, the OpenGL ARB eventually standardised a slightly tweaked version of Cg as GLSL, and Microsoft released their own shader language. Microsoft's shader language worked with every Windows machine, so it did very well. The next version, however, will only work with Vista. If the new OpenGL standards process lives up to expectations, then we could see a new version of GLSL for the new cards that will work on all versions of Windows, and on Mac, Linux, Solaris, PlayStation, etc. If this happens, then expect to see Microsoft's hold on 3D gaming slip a lot; would you rather use a Microsoft API that works on Vista, or an open API that works on all versions of Windows and all consoles (possibly even the 360 with a third-party wrapper)?

Re:Wait (2, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681972)

Personally, I haven't figured out why game companies don't use their own bootable linux distro w/ OpenGL and end their dependence on the ever shifting MS platform once and for all.

Games used to be on bootable floppies, and worked. If you consider that currently Linux distros work pretty well, and can be highly customized to boot, it seems a reasonable approach.

Re:Wait (1)

bshort404 (112024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682104)

If they did that they'd either have to find a Distro that supports *all* the available hardware out there or build in that support themselves. With standardization around USB that becomes more likely, but it's still asking game developers to put together a competent OS, which isn't what they're necessarily good at.

Re:Wait (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682354)

The point was that there are several distros out there that support a large percentage of current hardware. There's a live distro that has OpenGL examples on it (forgot the name at the moment) that runs. Just build on top of one of those. If you're using OpenGL and OpenAL, a lot of platform issues are no longer your problem under such a scenario.

Re:Wait (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681748)

Now how many are going to hold off on Vista because Carmack said to.

Me. That Carmack fella is wicked smart, and you ought to listen to him.

One word... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17680566)

Crysis

Not Daily Tech's Interview (4, Informative)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680572)

This is a summary of an interview conducted by Game Informer [gameinformer.com] .

Re:Not Daily Tech's Interview (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680852)

Dude, you think that is bad? At the top of this story you will find a link to http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/0 1/11/0354247 [slashdot.org] . The last link in that story is the very same link you have posted in your parent comment [gameinformer.com] . That's right! It's a meta-dupe.

With iD out of the Dx10 picture... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17680574)

...that just leaves Crytek as the rallying flag of DX10 (and oh what a pretty flag that is). I have to agree with Carmack though, DX10 as part of Vista is an artificial way to force the hardcore gamer crowd to upgrade and it personally ticks me off. Here's hoping someone cracks a DX10 installer to run on WinXP.

Gotta respect the man. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17680592)

Not only does he make kick arse engines, he's a straight talker in a world a spin merchants. He's helped Microsoft improve Direct X (while supporting OpenGL), praised them for their Xbox 360 development tools, but can call a spade a spade. Objectivity. Love it, live it.

Re:Gotta respect the man. (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681062)

What kick arse engines are you referring to, specifically?

Re:Gotta respect the man. (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681374)

The Quake engines, perhaps?

Re:Gotta respect the man. (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681490)

Perhaps this one? [armadilloaerospace.com] Can't get more kick arse than going to space.

One thing.. (2, Insightful)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680612)

All I know for sure is Linux / OpenGL wont have an opportunity like they have now for at least 5-10 years. No DX10 on WinXP could be a real killer for DX, if developers feel the need to target both Vista and XP users, OpenGL could be the way to go.... Which AFAIK makes portability to Linux easier.

Re:One thing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17680662)

Except that DX isn't just only a nice graphics package...

Re:One thing.. (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681056)

The only improvements in DX10 that are being touted/discussed are in D3D.

Re:One thing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17680692)

DX9 will still always be available on Vista, you know.

Re:One thing.. (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680720)

The developers will more likely attempt to let their games be DX9 AND DX10 to make sure as many people as possible can buy and play their games. I remember at least one game that had the option to switch between DX9 and DX8 for backwards compatibility: Call of Duty 2

Re:One thing.. (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680876)

The developers will more likely attempt to let their games be DX9 AND DX10 to make sure as many people as possible can buy and play their games. I remember at least one game that had the option to switch between DX9 and DX8 for backwards compatibility: Call of Duty 2


GuildWars has that ability, too. And there's already a mostly working implementation of DX9 under Linux, in the form of Cedega. I use it to play GW daily, among other games. No doubt the folks at Transgaming will start working on implementing DX10 soon, but I'd rather they get DX9 to 100% first.

Re:One thing.. (5, Insightful)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680750)

No DX10 on WinXP could be a real killer for DX, if developers feel the need to target both Vista and XP users, OpenGL could be the way to go....

Or DX9 ...

Re:One thing.. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681912)

DirectX 9 doesn't let you easily take advantage of the features of the new generation of cards. If the OpenGL standards group manages to pull its finger out and get a new revision of the shader language working, then the choice will be either developing using OpenGL, or using DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 (which are very different APIs). Using OpenGL will be easier, and easier translates to cheaper. As a side-effect, the PS3 supports OpenGL ES, so you get a PS3 port almost for free (not sure about the Wii). Even better, mobile phones are starting to support OpenGL ES, so you have the option of cheaply doing a mobile phone port as well[1].

Of course, this depends on the new OpenGL standards process actually being faster than the old one.


[1] GPUs in mobile devices lag a few generations behind desktops, obviously, but once your game has stopped selling on the desktop and consoles you can release a port to mobile devices and make even more money...

Re:One thing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17682218)

DX9 does not give you access to the capabilities of the newest, DX10-compatible GPMs (Graphics Processing Monsters). Currently that's only GF8800, but that'll change with time. So, with DX you have the choice of:
A) Going with DX10 and having your game run only on Vista, or...
B) Staying with DX9 and missing all of the whiz-bang graphics effects that sell a game nowadays.
With OpenGL you can make a game that takes advantage of everything the latest generation of graphics hardware has to offer, while running equally well on older hardware, gracefully dropping the effects that are not possible on it. Plus, you get full DX10-equivalent capabilities on all OSes with a recent driver, possibly even Win98!

Re:One thing.. (1)

lc_overlord (563906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680760)

Besides, OpenGL already supports all and more features of the D3D part of DX10 (with better performance to boot), and vista doesn't even support DX10 yet since you need the DX10 graphics drivers that hasn't been released yet, so why switch to vista when you don't have to.

Re:One thing.. (3, Informative)

ardor (673957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681258)

Besides, OpenGL already supports all and more features of the D3D part of DX10

Wrong. OpenGL only has an EXT extension for geometry shaders, but no superbuffers, texture arrays etc. so there is still much left.

(with better performance to boot)

Thats not the fault of Direct3D, its 100% a driver issue. nvidia cards are made for GL, hence the (slight!) performance advantage. On ATI cards, its totally different.

and vista doesn't even support DX10 yet since you need the DX10 graphics drivers that hasn't been released yet

You need new HARDWARE for this functionality, not just new drivers. Get a 8800.

Re:One thing.. (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681408)

Has directx10 been released for Vista? I was under the impression it had not yet, and was going to come later...which makes dx10 a pretty abstract concept. If they're dragging their feet on it, that would probably give OpenGL time to catch up with any features its currently lacking.

Re:One thing.. (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681564)

A technical preview is included in the DX9 SDK, and OpenGL3 won't be out before the Siggraph 07. New functionality might come via extensions, but a new, cleaned-up OpenGL is what everyone really wants and will get at Siggraph 07. In any way, D3D10 will be here earlier (hopefully GL won't be too late).

well (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680636)

Carmack might not force you to use DX10 and Vista, other developers may.

Re:well (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681334)

Carmack might not force me to be unable to play and thus purchase his products, but other developers may force me to keep my wallet closed.

Not friends anymore ?? (0, Offtopic)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680640)

When "Windows 3.11 for workgroups" came, Microsoft wanted a network-oriented game to boost the networking popularity of its OS. Everybody at Microsoft was playing Castle Wolfenstein (from ID software) with their PC (under msdos). So they came with the idea of a special-networked-version of Wolfenstein under WFW. It could be a huge hit ! But the project never came to life.

Later, when WinG (the "DirectX zero" library) and Win32s (the 32 bits library) came, they had the same king of idea. Just take a popular msdos game, port it to WinG+Win32s, and show the power of the OS ! Doom (from ID) was the right choice. But the project never came.

Later, when Windows95 came, the same idea came again. Port Doom (from ID) under Win95+DirectX to show the power of the OS ! The first betas were lame (the graphics were computed as 320x200 and then upscaled to 640x480, so they weren't nicer !). The final version was fine, but slower than the msdos version (because more computed pixels mean slower framerate), so the "show the power of the OS !" part was a failure...

NEDM (3, Funny)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681322)

Not even DOOM music could make that cool.

Xbox 360 lowered the need for Vista (1, Interesting)

thyarcher (1036802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680700)

With the increase in home theater systems, and Xbox 360 adoption, Microsoft has actually moved the major drive for DX10 graphics to their console. While this move pushes them into the living room, it lowers the need for people to move to Vista and DX10. We all know that games drive the video card/driver market. With the games now on the 360, the computer OS being Vista is less relevant.

Re:Xbox 360 lowered the need for Vista (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682264)

The XBox360 is a DX9 device, not DX10. So console programmers are locked into DX9 for the next 3+ years anyhow.

Carmack and OpenGL (2, Interesting)

zoftie (195518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680744)

Since day one Carmack disliked DirectX and promoted OpenGL...

Re:Carmack and OpenGL (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681060)

But at day one, Direct3D was absolutely terrible. It worked a lot more like the low level driver interface than an actual 3D API. Later versions improved on this quite dramatically.

Re:Carmack and OpenGL (2, Interesting)

Xipher (868293) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681172)

If you haven't seen his other interviews, he has stated he thinks DirectX is becoming a good API now, and that they might start using it.

Oh noes ! (2, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681886)

...and suddenly, all users of Linux, Mac OS X, PS3, and whatever platform that isn't Windows or XBox started to scream "Oh noes !"

The Use of OpenGL is what have enabled games from Id to be ported to almost any powerful enough platform under the sun.

Should he switch to DX, fans will be stuck to Windows and XBox (and maybe a couple of WinCE compatible device).

Diminishing returns? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681238)

3D graphics are a lot more mature than a few years ago. Each revision of D3D has been a smaller improvement than the previous edition, and the cards have had a sufficiently wide range of capabilities that developers have primarly targetted more speed rather than more features. The new features that are available are quite nice, but a lot more specialised, and I'd imagine many games simply aren't going to use them.

Targetting DX10 simply isn't going to give a substantial enough improvement for most people to justify upgrading to Vista.

What Is DX10 Really About? (3, Interesting)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681270)

From Carmack's comments regarding DX10 and the Xbox 360, I wonder what Microsoft is really up to here. On the surface, tying DX10 to Vista, looks like a strong armed tactic to force gamers to Vista. Clearly, game developers aren't likely to abandon XP anytime soon. Carmack also had good words to say about the Xbox 360, so could the real plan be to nudge developers into more Xbox 360 development and off of the PC? I know, strange plan, but games made and sold for Xbox 360 = royalties for Microsoft, games for the PC do not. Of course, there may not be a plan at all. This could be evidence of different parts of Microsoft pulling in different directions.

Re:What Is DX10 Really About? (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681796)

To me, a lot of Microsofts recent moves signal a bit of an identity crisis that often happen when companies get large. Basically, the different parts of the company start to compete with eachother because their core businesses start to overlap.

Microsofts OS dominance is driven at least in part by windows being the defacto computer gaming standard. But as they continue to try and erase the line between their console and the PC (by limiting the PC in some respects and offering more of PC gamings features on their console) they are weakening their OS market. Its no secret that the PC gaming market is shrinking, and I'd argue a lot of Microsofts success in the console market has been because they've siphoned off customers from the PC gaming segment. This weakens their core OS dominance, which is really the driver for the whole company.

Microsoft's recent moves at least acknowledge they see some of this happening, but their efforts to rectify it don't actually seem to get the point. Their recent "Games for Windows" initiative is an attempt to make PC gaming more appealing and easier, but what they're really doing is stripping it down so the PC Game business functions more like the console game business. Look at its features: Simplified system requirements, uniform interface, common development kits, support for the xbox live stuff (they are event hinting at allowing PC gamers and xbox360 players play together...provided PC players are handicapped somehow) and requirements for developers to certify their games. They're trying to push the PC gaming businesses into the same niche the consoles occupy...only the consoles do all that better and for cheaper.

They want to have their cake and eat it to here, but all they're going to do there is create two identical markets within the same company that compete with eachother. Look at it from a customers point of view. If my console plays all the games that I can get on the PC, has the same features (or more! see the semi exclusives of stuff like Doom3 co-op) and is cheaper, plus plays by all the same rules...why exactly am I going to buy a new PC with vista on it? I'll just keep my old Dell P4 2ghz to check out cheat codes and type papers and buy an xbox360. I think this is the reason the xbox will never get official mouse support...virtually all PC gamers would say why bother? But that may even be a forgone conclusion, as third parties already are making a KBM adapter for the 360. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft changed the next 360 revision to break those, quietly of course.

Whether they realize it or not, they are diluting the PC to get their console going...I have to ask if thats the best course of action long term? Maybe it is for profitability. Maybe the games segment on windows is something they'd rather not grow. Most of the money is in business software anyway.

What Carmack didn't say... (1, Troll)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681350)

Vista is probably going to be a better OS than XP, and it won't kill anyone to have DX10 since DX9 titles will work on it. You don't need to rush out and buy Vista, but you'll most likely wind up with a copy sooner or later and there's no good reason to not use it in favor of XP.

Re:What Carmack didn't say... (2, Insightful)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681540)

and there's no good reason to not use it in favor of XP. Well.... aside from the $400 price tag [microsoft.com] for the non-crippleware version? [microsoft.com]

Or perhaps it's because they've finally managed to copy the Macintosh's interface design more closely with Aero? Not to say that it dosen't make sense since every major and minor player out there has been offering better alt-tab and/or 3d functions on their desktop for some time. The only -touted- difference is the new driver model (which is why DX10 can't work on XP), but I'm going to go out on a limb here and bet that once DX10 cards actually start coming out there's going to be a bit of a ...... trial period where they work the kinks out. [gamespot.com]

In either case, getting eye candy, a questionable update in the driver/kernel and a higher price tag don't exactly make an 'upgrade' to Vista an obvious choice, at least right now.

Disinterested is a little strong (5, Informative)

Pablo El Vagabundo (775863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681536)

"You can get ten times the graphics power, and you can make a prettier picture, but when somebody makes a new IO device that really changes the way that people interact with the game, that's going to have a larger benefit there.

"So I'm really pleased with what they're (Nintendo) doing with the Wii and with the DS-and they're doing innovative things,"

"But our current generation of game technology is not targeted at the Wii. Maybe that was a mistake on our part originally, but we have been looking strictly at the 360, PS3 and PC as what we want to simultaneously develop on. We probably aren't going to be able to hit the Wii with the same technology platform."

I think he is very interested in the Wii. Just the projects and engines they have are not a fit for the platform.

Personally I believe the GFX on the Wii are grand. I luv the controller and the who package is sweet.

Right... (2, Insightful)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681676)

Gamers don't need Vista or DX10...

That's not going to stop Microsoft from REQUIRING it, though... Then we won't have a choice.

Re:Right... (2, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682016)

Microsoft may require it for their 'Games for Windows' shenanigans (something I really couldn't care less about), but do you think games makers are going to isolate a large portion of their market for Microsoft branding? No. Games sell fine at the moment without it, so why should they?

I think what you'll end up seeing is games which utilise DX9 and DX10 depending on which OS you are running, or games that forgo both in favour of OpenGL.

What if... (2, Interesting)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681984)

What if he had said DX10 was absolutely necessary and that everyone should go out and buy Vista on Jan 30? How many people would have listened to him? (This is not intended to be flamebait or trolling. This is a genuine question as I am not an graphics savvy geek)

This is news? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682234)

Not to dick on the submission but what slashdotter really thinks this is an issue today?

An OS that hasn't even been released to the home market yet has a LONG way to go before it has enough of a market-share to be competitive. It has nothing to do with the technical aspects of DX10 but rather commonsense economics.

It's suicidal to put out software that has such a high system demand that only the upper crust of users can run it.

Infact, I'd even predict that DX10 is going to be such a non-issue that DX11 (or a next gen technology replacement) will be out before DX10 (and Vista) have enough of a market-share to be considered a series developmental arena for game producers.

Stick with DX9. It's not a big deal. It probably won't be one in the near future either, if ever.

Re:This is news? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682320)

...enough of a market-share to be considered a series developmental arena...

Damn it! I meant serious, not series. Damn my eyes!

The PS3 bit is encouraging: ID is gonna be there. (0)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682730)

Carmack throws a lot of light on PS3 that was missing from the previous article's summary:

Nevertheless, he plans to support Sonys console with his next generation engine and games. Weve got our PlayStation 3 dev kits, and weve got our code compiling on it. I do intend to do a simultaneous release on it. [praise of M$] I think the decision to use an asymmetric CPU by Sony was a wrong one. There are aspects that could make it a winning decision, but theyre not helpful to the developers Its not like the PlayStation 3 is a piece of junk or anything. I was not a fan of the PlayStation 2 and the way its architecture was set up. With the PlayStation 3, its not even that its ugly--they just took a design decision that wasnt the best from a development standpoint.

The good news is that they have their games ported and they are going to be on the platform. The superiority of the DX tools is to be expected over a brand new system, but that does not mean the new system is broken. I'd like to know more about that design decision, after all the PS3 has more raw processing power than most consoles and completely shames the average PC. I expect most of the problems to go away as Cell development matures and takes over general purpose computing.

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