Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Carmack Shows Off the id Tech 5 Engine

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the phenomenal-cosmic-power dept.

PC Games (Games) 104

MojoKid writes "id's keynote address from this past week's Quakecon featured John Carmack revealing details of the id tech 5 engine. For more on the subject, GamesIndustry.biz has an interview with id developer Steve Nix about the project. 'I know that when we started working with Splash Damage on Enemy Territory they wanted large, detailed outdoor terrains, and they had some ideas on how to dynamically load the textures and everything, and John [Carmack] said, 'Why don't we try this new approach and make the entire terrain one massive texture, and then just load blocks of texture in dynamically that you can see at any one given time?' So John did the initial work on it, got it up and running, and it just so happened that that work was the basis for what we have in id Tech 5.'"

cancel ×

104 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Cmparisons? (1)

Bombula (670389) | about 7 years ago | (#20185827)

The article doesn't say much about the new engine. Does anyone know how it compares with the Unreal 3 engine or the CryEngine 2 (used in the upcoming Crysis)? Those engines look pretty amazing.

Re:Comparisons? (1)

g051051 (71145) | about 7 years ago | (#20186085)

Croteam's Serious engine and Monolith's LithTech seemed to be giving them a run for their money for a while...how's their technology stacking up?

Re:Comparisons? (1)

GeckoX (259575) | about 7 years ago | (#20186767)

Is the serious engine still being developed? Haven't heard squat from Croteam in quite a long time.

No idea about LithTech.

Re:Cmparisons? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20186109)

Yeah I have info...

The new engine will be something innovative, new and unique which every other game company will copy and do better.

UT3 engine is currently a piece of string with a knot in it.

Crysis... it looks pretty and works great in demos but will prove hard to play unless you have 8 limbs.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

nuzak (959558) | about 7 years ago | (#20186133)

> UT3 engine is currently a piece of string with a knot in it.

Seems everyone on earth is licensing that string. Yeah, before you go into it, they have one pissed-off licensee, which seems to be a bit better than idtech 4's one licensee total.

You forgot the important part (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20196275)

UT3 engine is currently a piece of string with a knot in it.
ASCII or UTF?

Re:Cmparisons? (4, Informative)

elFarto the 2nd (709099) | about 7 years ago | (#20186157)

Here's a few videos of Carmack talking about it:

Regards
elFarto

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

Bombula (670389) | about 7 years ago | (#20186365)

Thanks - interesting stuff. In my opinion, the lighting doesn't look as realistic as the CryEngine's fancy new bump-mapping stuff. It almost looks like DX9 instead of DC10... Maybe it's just me. The textures don't pop, and I didn't see much in terms of depth of field or motion blurring or ambient lighting and occlusion effects. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Re:Cmparisons? (3, Informative)

elFarto the 2nd (709099) | about 7 years ago | (#20186491)

That's because it is DirectX9, atleast on the XBox360, OpenGL on the PC/Mac and OpenGL|ES/whatever else they use on the PS3.

Regards
elFarto

Re:Cmparisons? (4, Informative)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | about 7 years ago | (#20186869)

You're missing the point of the tech demonstrations. Depth of field, motion blurring, and HDR lighting are current-gen features and are commonly featured in games out today. He was rather focusing on the amount of detail (80 GB worth) that was dynamically loaded, and didn't rely on old "hacks" (detail textures heavily repeated over a lower-res diffuse map, etc) to create the illusion of detail at an acceptable frame rate. And do so while keeping the engine both portable and fast is icing on the cake.

That in itself is rather impressive. As an OpenGL developer, I'm no longer impressed by motion blur, volume shadows, and other textbook shaders/effects - I'm more impressed by this.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

Bombula (670389) | about 7 years ago | (#20188241)

You're clearly the expert here, so I don't doubt you for a second. Still, to my eye there was something flat about the lighting in particular in the demo clips compared to the depth of the CryEngine 2(and the Cryengine does all that real-time editing and rendering too, from what I've seen). I've been waiting a long time for really convincing lighting - the current generation doesn't do a very good job of looking 'realistic' to my eye, and it's mainly because of lighting, whereas the demos I've seen of Crysis are really starting to look like something you could actually get away with calling photo-realistic. Unreal 3 looks pretty good too, although it's harder to tell because the game setting is so cartoonish. I don't know technically why that is, I just know what my eye tells me.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 7 years ago | (#20189047)

I don't know...

I find dynamically loading stuff to be pretty textbook by now. It's always nice when someone does it, but I mostly notice that most people don't.

Now, maybe I'm wrong, and maybe making it one huge texture does make it harder, but I don't think so.

Re:Cmparisons? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20191899)

All those lighting and special effects are just shaders. A game engine might have all kinds of useful tools for building those shaders, but the fact remains that anyone can buy a textbook (or just go and look the shaders up), copy the shaders out of there, and have all kinds of cool special effects running. Any idiot can do them, and they can be done at any point in the development process. In modern engines, you can even pull almost all of the shaders out and rewrite them. They're boring.

Basically, complaining that the id 5 engine isn't good because it's lighting looks a bit weird is like complaining that, for example, Unreal 3's engine is bad because you don't like the textures. Lighting and shaders in modern games are as flexible as textures were in previous generations of games.

In contrast, this kind of virtualized texture approach is completely novel. It's not just about dynamically loading data as you move through the level. The idea is that texture artists don't need to worry about how much space their textures take up. You can quite literally have a level with gigabytes of textures, and have that displayed on a system with only 256MB of video memory. In fact, you can have 1GB of textures just for the stuff on screen, and still have that displayed on a system with only 256MB of video memory.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

CandyMan (15493) | about 7 years ago | (#20192039)

Can you please explain how this "virtualised texture" approach works?

To my uninformed but interested understanding, it seems that if you only have 256Mb of memory and 1Gb of texture, you are going to have a lot of paging, missing textures, or the performance hit associated with downsampling the textures so they fit in memory.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

mikael (484) | about 7 years ago | (#20192611)

If you do a Google search for "terrain rendering" or "multiresolution rendering", you will find some research papers which describe dedicated hardware systems which defined the database as a combination of heightfield data (from radar) with photographic data (from satellites). The database would consist of an entire region sampled at 1 metre resolution (millions of polygons). It would be impossible to store the entire database in memory at the same time. To make the entire system run at the desired frame rate, both the heightfield and image data were converted into a quadtree representation. In that way only those blocks currently visible by the observer were stored in memory. A cache of
blocks surrounding the observer was maintained to avoid thrashing when the viewpoint crossed a block boundary. The hierarchical representation meant that view frustum culling could be efficiently applied to the entire database.
Low level detail is used for distant objects, high level detail for the nearest objects.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

CandyMan (15493) | about 7 years ago | (#20192755)

Thanks for the explanation, but isn't quadtrees and frustum culling what all engines before the supertexture were using? Also, your explanation does not manage to clear up the doubts raised by the grandparent's statement:

> "In fact, you can have 1GB of textures just for the stuff on screen, and still have that displayed on a system with only 256MB of video memory."

If the stuff *on screen* (ie inside the frustrum) needs 1GB of textures, it just can't be culled out, and if you only have 256MB of video memory, you need to downsample them. Something here must be new and relevant, I just can't tell it from what is common sense and common practice.

Re:Cmparisons? (2, Informative)

originalnih (709470) | about 7 years ago | (#20193887)

Shader results aren't really stored in video memory (unless you want them to be). They're output directly to the buffer based on a combination of shader code and base textures. Although the terrain may generate quite a bit of data, the resources it used to generate that frame won't be as large.

Eventually we'll all want video cards with 10GB of memory, but this is a nice way of bridging the gap.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 7 years ago | (#20197191)

Ok, now I've got a question:

Are two-dimensional textures, quadtrees, etc more efficient than traditional octrees and LoD applied to 3D objects?

That was the one thing that actually bothered me about this "megatexture" concept, that I think it could be generalized so easily...

Well, that, and I also want to see more games use procedurally generated content (saving disk space and RAM) rather than just throwing some gigantic satellite-photo-sized texture at the problem.

Cmparisons?-GRAW2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20189267)

The lighting in the latest Ghost Recon looks good. Now if they could only do something about the bugs.

Re:Cmparisons? (2, Interesting)

dunezone (899268) | about 7 years ago | (#20186205)

Screw the engine. What about game play?

When they were showcasing the Doom 3 technology several years ago it looked amazing and outstanding and Rage looks the same way too. Now the problem is game play, Doom 3 game play was pretty much non-existent, it was a simple shooter with awesome graphics, no real story or plot to help carry it. And you can argue that id software has never really had much of a story or plot to drive their games but thats expected now. When Doom, Quake, Quake 2 came out you could still get away without having a story or plot to help drive the game. When Half-Life came out they had great looking graphics and a story to help drive it. It raised the bar in FPS games. Quake 3 rolled into the stores and id software was able to bypass the story and plot by simply making it mostly an online game with really basic single player mode. By Doom 3 that wasn't going to fly, and I would say that most of you would agree with me on this, but Doom 3 sucked big time. It looked amazing but playing it was just a joke.

They can showcase all the technology they want. As a gamer that wont buy me over anymore. Games are like a book. The cover can look amazing but what counts is whats in the writing. The cover is the graphics and the writing is the game play, plot, story, etc. Id software tends to leave out the writing and bank on graphics and that wont buy me over this time.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 7 years ago | (#20186309)

Yes, I honestly think id Software rather makes a large chunk of revenue on
1. Brand names -- Doom is still such a brand name that tons would buy a Doom 4 on this engine, despite Doom 3's mediocre gameplay
2. Engine licensing

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

nuzak (959558) | about 7 years ago | (#20187025)

If engine licensing is a significant chunk of their revenue, they screwed the pooch with Doom3. 3DRealms licensed it for Prey, and that was pretty much that.

Thankfully they didn't grow their studio and metastasize like other game development studios, or get acquired by a quarterly-balance-focused game-grinding publisher, so they can weather a slowdown in business like that. And Doom3 sold pretty well too, largely thanks to point 1.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 7 years ago | (#20186335)

The recent id software games were money making ads/demos for selling their game engines to other game companies.

I figure they've found what they are good at, and sticking with it doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Let the other game companies hire hordes of people to create content/assets, pay money to license stuff from George Lucas etc.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

SpectreHiro (961765) | about 7 years ago | (#20186531)

Now the problem is game play, Doom 3 game play was pretty much non-existent, it was a simple shooter with awesome graphics, no real story or plot to help carry it.

I wouldn't say that's entirely true. You're spot on about the gameplay, but Doom 3 actually had quite a lot of plot and story. Unfortunately, nearly all of it was presented on PDAs scattered throughout the game that took too long to read and completely drew the player out of the situation, rather than having a plot that was integral to and intertwined with the gameplay. They were using System Shock's style of story telling in a world that had already played Half-Life 2. Then they hammered the final nail into the coffin with those hair brained monster closets.

...but Doom 3 had a story. It really did. Maybe not a great one, but it was there.

Re:Cmparisons? (2, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | about 7 years ago | (#20186731)

How can we discuss gameplay when we're not even talking about a game?

The discussion is about game engines, NOT games themselves.

Thus the GP's request to compare 3 game engines, not games.

Given that, what about what gameplay?

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

brkello (642429) | about 7 years ago | (#20187913)

Umm, what the heck are you talking about? This is like seeing the awesome new engine of a car that has more power and speed than the one previous...and you are saying..."yeah, but what does the body of the car look like?". You are completely missing the point. How the heck do you talk about game play when are showing an engine? There is no game. That is up to whoever is making the game. Yeah, Doom3 was an expensive demo for the engine...we all know that. So don't buy id games.

The only thing the engine should do as far as game play goes is not interfere with the game play. It is up to whoever makes the game to make it interesting/fun. I hope you understand this engine can be licensed to use for other games than Doom and Quake.

Cmparisons?-FOV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20188989)

"The only thing the engine should do as far as game play goes is not interfere with the game play. It is up to whoever makes the game to make it interesting/fun. I hope you understand this engine can be licensed to use for other games than Doom and Quake."

It doesn't even have to be games. Just look at what people are doing with the latest Crysis engine.

Re:Cmparisons? (2, Interesting)

tixxit (1107127) | about 7 years ago | (#20190047)

I loved Doom 3. Everytime I played I would play at night w/ the lights off. I thought I was going to shit myself sometimes. Gameplay was not the greatest, but the atmosphere was amazing. That alone was worth playing it. Not too many games get that level of emersion from me.

Re:Cmparisons? (2, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 7 years ago | (#20190255)

"it was a simple shooter with awesome graphics, no real story or plot to help carry it."

Yeah but exactly where were they going to go from Doom 2? It's not like the doom series was big on story to begin with, and I would have to say that as a gaming experience Doom 3 and its expansion was FAR from bad, Doom 3 had some of the most scary and memorable bosses, I agree the story wasn't very cohesive or convincing but it was hardly bad.

The level design was very good and the art was stellar, the real problem was with not breaking up the constant monotony with interesting revelations, etc.

I love how people love to bag on Doom 3 but ignore Halo and Halo 2, the orignial halo's story... sucked real badly! People just get a boner over master chief and cortana. They ripped off the flood from the countless Aliens movies and also from half life, many of the aliens in Halo near the end looked awfully like the ones Half-life 2.

Doom 3 was a pure action game, it wasn't the best but it was by far a lot better then a lot of stuff out there. They nailed the fear factor pretty good in Doom 3 in my opinion.

Re:Cmparisons? (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | about 7 years ago | (#20199431)

I enjoyed Doom 3. That's probably because I was expecting what it was-- a shallow, 10 hour shooter with lots of "Holy shit! Where did that thing come from?" moments that looked really good. I never needed or expected it to be Half-life.

That said, it *is* a shallow game with no real story, and I've never felt the need to go back and play it again.

I can't comment on Rage, except to say that if it's another Doom 3, I will be disappointed because this time I do want more.

I think this technology will spawn some really great games, though, even if Rage turns out to be terrible. Specifically for the reasons you mentioned. Doom gameplay just doesn't cut it anymore, and even if id doesn't get that, Carmack is still a genius, and this looks to the kind of technology that 3rd parties can really get behind. It seems to be the kind of thing that can really lower the cost of quality, cross-platform development, and that's good for everyone.

Booth babes? (3, Funny)

Lethyos (408045) | about 7 years ago | (#20185907)

Are they getting to expensive or are they just tired of nerds? Either way, I dislike the alternative [hothardware.com] .

Re:Booth babes? (5, Funny)

clem (5683) | about 7 years ago | (#20186111)

Look on the bright side -- she'll still be smiling even when you get close to her.

Nice signature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20192721)

Geek, liberal, cyclist, free-thinker. [sidragon.net]
You can pretty much guarantee that anyone who describes himself as a free-thinker is, in fact, NOT a free-thinker.

--
Signatures--the slashdot equivalent of stupid bumper stickers on shitty cars driven by bad drivers.

Re:Nice signature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20192923)

Have you been indoctrinated to believe that?

You say so, therefore it must be true! (1)

Lethyos (408045) | about 7 years ago | (#20194691)

Why does claiming status intrinsically make the claim false? I hereby claim to post on Slashdot, an utterly false statement by your logic. I suppose you can, uh, “pretty much guarantee” I not a cyclist or a geek simply because I describe myself as a cyclist and a geek? If you want to get all metaphysical here, I think the argument could be made that because the universe is deterministic (although not predictable) none of us has any free will (thoughts are chemical reactions bounded by laws of physics which strictly follow causality) and it is therefore impossible for anyone to be a free-thinker. But then after our romp of intellectual masturbation, we have ultimately learned nothing because concepts of free will (and by extension, thought) are abstractions that eliminate the minutiae we cannot or do not care to quantify. The Stock Market operates on the atomic level, but nobody needs to study it at such detail in order to understand its workings and that likewise applies to human behavior. Or maybe we should just simply address the likely possibility that you have no idea what the term “freethought [wikipedia.org] ” actually means.

Re:You say so, therefore it must be true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20196841)

*clap* Nice try! I mean, a pretty trite set of statements and phrases, but not bad, I'll give you that. (bonus points for trying to use big words effectively! bravo!)

Will you just answer one question--do you drive a shitty car?? And do you drive it poorly? That's really all I want to know.

--
Signatures--the slashdot equivalent of stupid bumper stickers on shitty cars driven by bad drivers.

Consoles? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20185963)

Could this idea be used for consoles, which have a lot less video RAM than computers?

Imagine Final Fantasy XI on the Nintendo DS. ;-)

Re:Consoles? (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 7 years ago | (#20186301)

According to the Youtube Videos [youtube.com] I was checking out ... Tech 5 compiles and runs on PC, Mac, PS3 and XBox 360 "in about 5 minutes". So yes. Tech 5 works on PS3 and XBox 360 and was designed to be portable across all platforms from the beginning.

Re:Consoles? (1)

GweeDo (127172) | about 7 years ago | (#20186369)

It will be on the 360, PC and PS3...but he doesn't like the RAM limitations of the PS3 :)

Re:Consoles? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20187125)

Whoa yeah! He put down the PS3! Woooo! Wii strokin' time!

Carmack is the real deal. (2, Insightful)

spocksbrain (1097145) | about 7 years ago | (#20185981)

I cannot put into words how awesome John Carmack is. A true pioneer in video game graphics.

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (0, Offtopic)

pigs,3different1s (949056) | about 7 years ago | (#20186025)

We are all quite proud of John here in his hometown of Mesquite, TX. WTG John!!!

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20186407)

Wow, what a stupid reason to be proud of someone.. because they happen to be born near you. You Texans really are dumb.

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (2, Funny)

GeckoX (259575) | about 7 years ago | (#20186809)

Well, I for one am proud to NOT have been born near you.

At least, I hope I wasn't...thankfully your anonymity will allow me to remain ignorantly blissful if I was :)

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20198891)

>allow me to remain ignorantly blissful
Self-honesty is always good.

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (3, Interesting)

pigs,3different1s (949056) | about 7 years ago | (#20187031)

Wow, what a stupid reason to be proud of someone.. because they happen to be born near you. You Texans really are dumb.
Actually, we are proud of him for many reasons: 1) id 2) Armadillo Aerospace 3) his many contributions to the community ... just to name a few. What state are you from, A$$h@t?

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (1)

Das Modell (969371) | about 7 years ago | (#20192903)

There's no swear filtering on Slashdot. You can just go ahead and say "asshat."

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (1)

garyok (218493) | about 7 years ago | (#20188559)

Wow, what a stupid reason to be proud of someone.. because they happen to be born near you.
Hmmm... what sort of community would I rather have been raised in? One that's proud of its successful members, or one that couldn't give a shit whether you lived forever or dropped dead at their feet? I was raised in type 3: they'd scrape your corpse from under that lorry and feel a bit sad about it. Maybe you'd get flowers by the road.

And his rocketships (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#20186153)

Armadillo Aerospace [armadilloaerospace.com]

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 7 years ago | (#20186411)

I cannot put into words how awesome John Carmack is.

And he's even more awesome because he GPLs his old code!

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (4, Funny)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | about 7 years ago | (#20186991)

I hear he liquefies all his food in a blender because he considers chewing inefficient.

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 7 years ago | (#20188463)

What a nerdy awesome joke that only computer developers can fully appreciate.

Wish I had mod points.

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 7 years ago | (#20189111)

He also assembles all his food by hand!

Re:Carmack is the real deal. (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 7 years ago | (#20192367)

So what would happen if John Carmack, Bruce Schneier, and Chuck Norris ever got together? Would you get an encrypted roundhouse to the face in stellar 3D graphics?
 

Design priorities.. (1)

Kuku_monroe (753761) | about 7 years ago | (#20186065)

'Oh my god, are you kidding me? We don't have to worry about texture limits any more? That's a huge breakthrough. That's our number one problem in development.'
Let's just texture everything with mega-high-re images and forget about the fun ;)

Only load what you need: a new concept? (0, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 7 years ago | (#20186121)

I know that when we started working with Splash Damage on Enemy Territory they wanted large, detailed outdoor terrains, and they had some ideas on how to dynamically load the textures and everything, and John [Carmack] said, 'Why don't we try this new approach and make the entire terrain one massive texture, and then just load blocks of texture in dynamically that you can see at any one given time
"Only load what you need from a large set of data" is a new concept in computer science? No wonder these games continually have performance problems.

Nope (2, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#20186197)

The difference apparently is between dynamically loading a whole bunch of different textures (as-needed, which is the traditional way of doing things), and paging through 1 texture.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (3, Informative)

quanticle (843097) | about 7 years ago | (#20186217)

Previously, you had to break up your textures into blocks and manually load them as the player moved into the area covered by those textures. This new technology allows you to create one large texture for the entire level and have the game engine automatically break up the texture into blocks and dynamically load them for you.

It makes programming easier, because its one less thing to keep track of.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (4, Informative)

jfisherwa (323744) | about 7 years ago | (#20186401)

It also opens up the possibility to stream these textures in line-by-line, instead of block-by-block. No need to waste time/memory loading in a 2048x2048 texture of the next area as soon as it's barely visible if we can do it arbitrarily.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 7 years ago | (#20191875)

That makes no sense whatsoever. I assume that by "line" you are talking about a row of texels. If so, then the orientation of the texture, relative to the view frustum, would have to align perfectly for a single line of texels to be of any use. If the frustum were merely rotated 90 degrees, then you need a column of texels, requiring fetching a single texel per line, resulting in massive cache misses. That is the whole point of breaking textures into squares, so that you don't loose efficiency due to orientation, which of course in a generic 3D engine will vary constantly. If the frustum were at say 45 degrees, then a line of texels looses all meaning, because they would be interpolated diagonally. What about filtering, like bilinear filtering? Texels never map 1:1 to screen space (excluding 2D rendering, like HUDs and the like), so the hardware averages multiple texels together. How many lines of texels should you pass in so the GPU can filter them? How do you handle mipmapping one line at a time?

The whole point of the article is to have a single massive texture for the entire map. In that case, a "line" of texels would be the width of the texture, which would be unbelievably massive. I can't think of any situation where feeding a line of texels would make any sense at all from a performance standpoint, unless we're talking about some sort of vertical scrolling shooter, where the terrain is always revealed in the same direction and orientation, but that is hardly the type of 6DoF type engine Carmack produces.

Dan East

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

James Kilton (714163) | about 7 years ago | (#20186259)

It's obviously not a new concept in computer science, much less games. Too bad the difference between data manipulation and games is that the games need to access these textures 30 - 60 times per second depending on hardware. I take it you don't know much about 3D rendering and games programming, do you?

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 7 years ago | (#20186535)

And this differs from concepts like Google Maps how? (which also is not an original idea, btw)

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

GeckoX (259575) | about 7 years ago | (#20186841)

Framerate for starters?

For some reason, I don't think most gamers would accept a bunch of gray blocks slowly and randomly being replaced with textures before your very eyes every time your view changes..but hey, maybe that's just me ;)

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 7 years ago | (#20187835)

perhaps we could load more blocks outside of the immediate view? You know, like, perhaps, just maybe, caching them with an intelligent loader?

But I guess that might have been too forward thinking.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

GeckoX (259575) | about 7 years ago | (#20187997)

Er, they've been doing that for a very very long time now.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20190777)

1) Worst-case seek time for an optical disk (CD/DVD/BD) to open a new file is measured as a small number of seconds. Just to open the file, not read anything from it. You've got to be damn sure that data is going to be used before bothering to load it in.

2) Games where it's completely deterministic where your character is going to go have been streaming without you noticing for ages. But when your character is moving around the level at $MANY miles an hour, it's near impossible to figure out where they're going to be by the time you could have streamed anything new.

3) If your game engine isn't already struggling at the limit, you're not pushing it hard enough.

If you think you're so smart, get on board and help.
Thanks,
The Games Industry

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 7 years ago | (#20187831)

Hint: Google Maps 2007 = MS Flight Simulator 1992.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#20186393)

Denigrating the work of others, particularly work you don't understand and couldn't accomplish on your own, is the oldest concept in computer science. Come up with something new, please.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20188735)

No, it was never the old concept in CS, but It was the old concept in CIS.

The oldest concept in CS was 0+0=0 and 0+1 = 1.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20186469)

That and it manually tracks and dynamically loads all textures, not just the ground. :)

It seems obvious, but its easier said than done. You have to factor all sorts of things and John is the type of guy that can do it better automatically than any of us could do manually, especially when it comes to performance.

Re:Only load what you need: a new concept? (4, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | about 7 years ago | (#20186897)

Memory footprint of these extremely large textures was prohibitive in the past. Originally this just wasn't possible.

In the beginning, very small textures were all that could be used, and they were tiled everywhere. Ever since then, the workable size of textures has been slowly increasing...but the old habit of breaking things down into small(ish) textures remained.

Technological advances and an 'aha!, we can do that now!' lead to advances such as this that to some might appear 'obvious', when in fact, since they hadn't been done before, weren't so obvious after all.

Everything Old Is New Again (2, Interesting)

tjwhaynes (114792) | about 7 years ago | (#20186697)

The new texture technology that JC is demonstrating is fascinating but it really is a neat new twist on a much older trick - using tile-able textures to build up a much larger map, and then using overlays to take it further and make it less predictable.

The basic landscape is built up at some reasonable level of detail for distance shots, with whatever geometry the modeller wants. Then the new techniques are applied to any polygon, anywhere. From the videos, there is a part where JC takes a texture, paints it on either side of the track. At this point, you can see that it really is square tiles - maybe 128x128 in the demo but I suspect it is arbitrary. Then these tiles are blended against other tiles and it's no longer so obvious what is going on. Then the overlays are painted on over the top to provide unique details.

Now - the backend technology to cache all of these separate layers together must be pretty impressive to ensure that the view doesn't stutter as you pan the view. Using this level of organisation for the textures is akin to a smart compression routine, except you are identifying common elements right up front in the form of texture tiles, rather than trying to do it after the fact.

I'd pay serious money to get my hands on the level editors for this tech - but I don't think my salary will stretch to a ID license fee.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Everything Cut Is Pasted Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20189109)

"Then these tiles are blended against other tiles and it's no longer so obvious what is going on."

I'm wondering if "Soft Scissors" technology would help here?

Re:Everything Old Is New Again (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20191201)

Sorry you're completely wrong. The mega texture itself is not based on tiles, that's just how they author it. It all gets baked out into a single completely unique texture at the end. So the initial large scale detail really is hugely detailed and extremely high res. Tiling is just a way of quickly painting terrain for outdoor areas, and then you can use an unlimited number of overlays (because they get baked out into the texture) to for example stamp out rocks and stuff to break up the surface. You can easily envision having a mode where you hit a key which brings a screenshot up into photoshop, you edit it however you want, and then project it back into the scene.

Re:Everything Old Is New Again (1)

Skrapion (955066) | about 7 years ago | (#20193499)

I wish you didn't use an anonymous account, or I had mod points, because I think a lot of people are similarly confused, and your post deserves to be seen.

Re:Everything Old Is New Again (1)

DaAdder (124139) | about 7 years ago | (#20193065)

I'd pay serious money to get my hands on the level editors for this tech - but I don't think my salary will stretch to a ID license fee.
Or you could just buy Rage, where their development studio with all the tools are included :)

As mentioned here: http://download.gametrailers.com/gt_vault/t_idtech 5_walkthrough_part3_gt_480.mov [gametrailers.com]

I wouldn't be too surprised to see the level technology appear as as free download as well down the road.

id engine 5 gives artists more freedom (1)

freshmayka (1043432) | about 7 years ago | (#20187007)

The thing JC keeps saying about his new gfx tech is that it allows the artists to chance the textures in a given scene or map on a PER PIXEL LEVEL. Literally letting the artists go into the entire map and basically photo-shop every pixel until they get it perfect. The engine also updates everything real time across the entire development platform so if I go in and paint some graffiti on a wall, and the AI programmer goes to that same section of the world on his computer to test some things, he will see the new graffiti just added to that wall.

He also said that even though this gives texture and world artists tons of freedom, that games are still harder and more complex to develop then ever before.

And yes, having the system work this way allows them to port the code and gfx to any console with relative ease.

Carmack once again... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 7 years ago | (#20187139)

proves that he has vision beyond the typical game developer.

How many countless technologies id Software has brought us over the years, games today should be forever thankful. Now that games tend to sprawl out into massive landscapes (MMOs are big on this too), engines that are geared towards serving large landscapes instead of 'room by room' sprawling are going to be the norm.

On an unrelated note -- I'm looking forward to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

will do little to advance id games (1)

llZENll (545605) | about 7 years ago | (#20187141)

the downfall of every id game isn't art, graphics, or design, but the fact the basic game play is rudimentary at best, some love their games because of this, but most wish for more. hopefully they will at least abandon the door/key game play element in every one of their games since keen, jesus, unlimited time and budget, come up with something new!

Re:will do little to advance id games (4, Informative)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | about 7 years ago | (#20187825)

Eesh! Repeat. id do NOT make the games you want. id make ENGINES and games that showcase them.

A little harsh maybe, but basically correct. If you want a rip-roaring game with a smashing storyline, wait until the first game companies start licensing the tech from id. Until then, like me, you could do a lot worse than forgetting your high-minded, high-falluting city-slicker ambitions and just run around for a while, shooting every demon between you and the blue keycard.

Re:will do little to advance id games (1)

Von Helmet (727753) | about 7 years ago | (#20189875)

That's all well and good, and it's certainly fair to say that Quake and Quake 3 were licensed big-time, but a quick glance at Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] shows a grand total of six titles using the Doom 3 engine, two of which are Doom 3 and it's expansion, and one of which hasn't even been released yet.

Something wrong with id's latest work, I wonder?

Re:will do little to advance id games (1)

MMaestro (585010) | about 7 years ago | (#20192629)

According to Wikipedia, the Quake 3 engine was used for roughly 5 years (8 if you count the in-development game Severity). The Doom 3 engine is only 3 years old, unless ID Software decides to pull support (which isn't going to happen with ET:Quake Wars coming out soon) the Doom 3 engine has a solid 2 years left in it.

Re:will do little to advance id games (1)

Cryolithic (563545) | about 7 years ago | (#20187863)

Hmm maybe you didn't RTFA (wait, it's /. you didn't RTFA) This is about the *engine* not a *game*.

So... (3, Funny)

whoop (194) | about 7 years ago | (#20187991)

How many shades of brown will the next Quake have? 32k? 64k? 4096k? That's all we really want to know!!

Id Tech 5 engine video... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 7 years ago | (#20188943)

...can be seen in this trailer [youtube.com] for iD's upcoming game, Rage. Even keeping in mind it's work in progress i'm floored.

Re:Id Tech 5 engine video... (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 7 years ago | (#20192389)

Much nicer high resolution video [gametrailers.com] for Rage.
 

Realism is paramount (4, Funny)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | about 7 years ago | (#20189249)

You want to talk wide open spaces. Talk about the military simulator VBS or it's civilian counterpart OPF/Arma. These games may not look the prettiest but they have hundreds of square miles of seamless terrain. Enough so that many branches of the U.S. military signed up for it several years in a row. It has cross sim technology that allows it to talk to other simulators. But most importantly it run a insane resolutions and has view distances that would make a 747 pilot jealous.

I really wish video game makers would get a little more realistic in their shooting games. Real (outdoor) warfare does not occur at 50ft, it happens at about 400 meters, that's almost so far that the guy you're shooting at looks like an ant. And that happens to be real life. Also, someone tell JC if someone is hiding behind a cinderblock wall and I shoot an 7.62 AK74 round at said wall and the bullet happens to land where someone is standing on the other side, they are dead. Bullets penetrate EVERYTHING except HEAVY ARMOR. That means if you shoot a house, someone on the other side of the house may get hit because the bullet penetrated every wall in the house. This is especially true for heavy machine guns (.50cal+) which can demolish a small house with a few dozen rounds.

Also, and almost as important, don't make stupid doors that have a fucking golf ball holding them shut, I just destroyed a god damn super monkey spider droid with a mega doppler 5000 hand blastron laser fink and I can't open this god damn door because someone wedged a golf ball under it's flimsy wooden frame. What's that you say? Don't go in there? It's not part of the level? DON'T MAKE THE FUCKING DOOR THEN! Did you think you had to follow the layout of Walter Reed hospital exactly? I won't care if there is a wall where there should be a janitors closet, just don't put a door in the level that can't be opened, especially a door with a window and a god damn wooden chair wedged under the door knob. BAD BAD BAD!! Anyone remember Red Faction? Where you could blow up the walls. What ever happen to that idea? What kind of future war training are we offering our children?! ->

Ted: Hey Jimmy hide behind those wooden pallets so the Chinese T80 main battle tank can't use it's HE round to kill you
Jimmy: Thank Ted! I'm not sure how long I could have lasted without that great advice

Jimmy, my friends, would be dead. AND PEOPLE LIKE JC ARE RESPONISBLE FOR HIS DEATH! MAKE VIDEO GAMES MORE REALISTEC NOW!! BEFORE JIMMY AND TED ARE DEAD!

Re:Realism is paramount (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | about 7 years ago | (#20191241)

Anyone remember Red Faction? Where you could blow up the walls. What ever happen to that idea?

Software patents.

Realism has been done already. ;) (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | about 7 years ago | (#20191861)

I think the majority of game players don't want ultra-real. FPS players like to bunny-hop around shooting almost non-stop. They do this because its fun, not because they want to model realism.

There are some good ultra-real games out there (I remember playing a sniper game at E3 that actually modeled heart-rate and atmospheric effects (rain, heat, altitude, etc.) to calculate where each shot landed). The problem is that there is a very small market for them.

Re:Realism has been done already. ;) (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 7 years ago | (#20192041)

That would be Sniper Elite [gamespot.com] , a terrific game in my opinion. I don't think i've seen another sniper sim ever since. It had a great balance of realistic shooting and action.

Re:Realism has been done already. ;) (1)

drik00 (526104) | about 7 years ago | (#20192573)

I remember back in the day, playing some supposed "ultra-realistic" combat game, "ultra-realistic" meant you get shot, u die... told a vet friend about it, he asked if you get trench rot in your foot in the game from being in trenches for too long... yeah. ultra-realistic = not so much fun.

Re:Realism has been done already. ;) (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 7 years ago | (#20192663)

It is realistic in the sense it involves "real" sniping techinques - finding spots with cover, firing, relocating, watching your pulse and breath between shots. Then again, the missions are fun and well laid out with more than just long range shots - you go from assasination and cover missions to POW rescues. It is a very fun game, and well worth a fetch from the bargain bin.

Re:Realism is paramount (1)

Skrapion (955066) | about 7 years ago | (#20193383)

Modelling large areas is a lot easier if you get rid of the stipulation that it has to be pretty. Hell, Google Earth modelled the entire planet. I'm a programmer for Hegemony: Philip of Macedon [ldagames.com] , a game which models the entirety of Greece, so I feel I know a few things about the topic. Tech 5 wouldn't work for us, for a few reasons, but it's still hugely innovative, and I have yet to figure out how he used MegaTexture on non-height-based-terrain objects.

Regarding game design, everybody has to choose where the border between realism and fun lies. For you, that border seems to lie just shy of (or maybe even just beyond) joining the army. Most other people actually want to play games, so realism serves no purpose beyond familiarity.

Frankly, you sound like you would lambast chess for not being a realistic depiction of war.

Re:Realism is paramount (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20193565)

The AK74 shoots 5.45x39 mm rounds, not 7.62x39mm like the older AK47.

A cinder-block wall (unless VERY shoddily made) would stop both rounds, but you're right that wood and plaster should be easier to shoot through in games.
/nitpick
//likes guns

in terms of code and data structures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20191727)

BSP's are what made 3d shooters possible in the first place because they were so efficient. some games did not require all the complexity of BSP's and were able to get by with portholes. then UT had a simple approach closer to CSG which while not as efficient required less work from the level editors and developers and was good enough. It may have even had benefits in certain scenes.

How does this differ algorithmically from your basic BSP. well im guessing that having a single texture means there are savings on compression/size as the whole texture can be stored however is most efficient. but how is this determined and modeled, and wrt the multiple levels of cache; disk, ram, video card ddrN ram(?), surely this is where the advantage of this new technique comes in.

Another poster has already stated that there is an advantage in that a whole large 2048x2048 texture doesnt need to be loaded if only part of it is going to be visible.

So this is like applying the BSP idea further. To subregions of one global texture. What are the algorithms and data structures used in this process?

Can someone tell us all, im quaking at the knees on hearing this announcement.

id on Steam (1)

Renaissance 2K (773059) | about 7 years ago | (#20192171)

Anyone else more excited about the mention of the $70 "every game that id developed" Pack that can be purchased on Steam, more so than the Rage demonstration?

Maybe I'm just getting old...

Carmack engines too specialized? (3, Interesting)

jensen404 (717086) | about 7 years ago | (#20193153)

I'm sure Carmack is a great programmer, but his engines are specialized at doing one thing well at the expense of general flexibility. And the one special feature of the engine isn't even carried on to the next generation.

Quake 3 had curved surfaces, no other major engine since then has had curved surfaces.

Doom 3 had a unified lighting model, Rage does not. The unified lighting caused some pitch black areas and made it harder too make large outdoor type levels.

Rage has unified texturing, which makes it harder to use specialized shaders on some surfaces. Other than the texturing and the much better development tools, I don't see much new?

Re:Carmack engines too specialized? (1)

DohnJoe (900898) | about 7 years ago | (#20195993)

I think the major thing here is indeed the better development tools, with 3 architectures supported from a single code base, plus the fact that artists are given almost complete freedom. Given the fact that on most big games a lot of time is spent on getting the artwork done, I think this is quite an important improvement that many game studios are very interested in.

Re:Carmack engines too specialized? (1)

Zelgadiss (213127) | about 7 years ago | (#20199985)

What is wrong with Rage's lighting, it looks to me the environment and characters are lit the same way. Wasn't that what the Doom 3 engine was about? No more using vertex lighting on characters but lightmapping for the environment.

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20194769)

Another great engine from iD. I can't wait to see the games that other companies make from it.

Seriously, if Carmack wanted to show off, he should show off an iD game with an actual storyline. How did quake 4 begin? You crash and immediately have some missions to do. The huge climatic end of the game? The same fucking guy tells you that there's another mission for you, and the credits roll. Yay.

Compare that up against games that have been made with the Unreal engine (Gears of War, for example...one of the highest rated games ever, by the way), as well as the Unreal games themselves, suddenly iD showing off doesn't look so impressive any more.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>