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QuakeCon 2011 – Carmack: This the “year of RAGE”

Thursday, 4th August 2011 08:45 GMT By Staff

QuakeCon started today with an introduction from Todd Hollenshead, good news from Pete Hines, and John Carmack’s annual three-hour keynote. Nathan Grayson liveblogged it. We posted it.

QuakeCon opening highlights

Steam sale everyday on Bethesda and id titles; QuakeCon package includes all games for $69.99.

Brink is free-to-play until Sunday on Steam.

Skyrim demo will be shown and “new pieces of info,” dropped.

A live Prey 2 demo will be shown at the event.

A new RAGE video was released.

RAGE iOS will be free for a week once id’s Facebook page gets 100,000 “likes”.

DOOM 3 source code will be released this year once RAGE is out the door.

Carmack had “nothing to say,” about DOOM 4 as this is the “year of RAGE”.

RAGE team moving on to DOOM 4; still hopes to do RAGE 2.

Steam sales and Facebook blackmailing

Todd Hollenshead took the stage to announce that RAGE iOS will be free for a week as soon as id’s Facebook page reaches 100,000 likes. There will also be Steam new sales every day during QuakeCon as well as a QuakeCon pack which includes every id and Bethesda game available on Steam for $69.99. Pre-purchasing RAGE or Skyrim takes $20 off that, and if you pre-purchase both, you’ll get another $10.

Brink is also free-to-play on Steam until this coming Sunday, and it is also 50 percent off.

After Hollenshead stepped off the stage, Bethesda’s Pete Hines stepped on to chat about what games to expect at the event. Tomorrow there will be a Skyrim public demo with “tidbits” and “new pieces of info,” as well as a Prey 2 live demo.

John Carmack takes the stage

Carmack began his keynote speaking about RAGE, which he called the “most enoyable id game that we’ve ever made,” before announcing he was going to “spend some time” going over RAGE’s visual tech and that after his talk, the audience would be “megatexture experts” afterward. He never said they might cry due to there, once again, not being any word on DOOM 4, but, we’re sure some wept anyway.

Apparently, RAGE has pop-in issues if you turn around quickly, which is the “reality of how the tech works,” according to Carmack. He mentioned an artist which started designing things that weren’t comfortable for the tech, because RAGE is not a “texture island.”

This led Carmack to speaking about anistropic filtering and how when transferring the game to Xbox 360, the game started off at half detail because it wasn’t optimized. It is now, but artists were pretty much “crushed” when they had to compress all the textures for it to work on consoles.

The solution was found by virtualization of texturing, because loading texture blocks directly from DVD or a hard drive would cause “significant lag,” on the console, so a second layer cache was created. According to Carmack, Blu-ray, which is used by PS3, has little available memory, and OS takes too much memory. Luckily, id worked around this with Sony by convincing it to give the team a few more gigs, and it used an HD photo derivative for compression which is a more “sophisticated encoding method,” which allows the developer to provide more game detail.

Carmack admitted id had issues getting RAGE up to 60fps on PC, despite the format having “ten times as much power” as consoles. However, using reactive rendering, it slowly scaled the resolution to fix the framerate issue; however, if something unexpected happens, things can go wonky, so this is just a few of the reasons why it has taken the team so long to release RAGE.

“Three generations down the line, we’ll be taking 30 years to make our next game,” said Carmack, which incited general laughter from the audience.

Graphics “do still matter,” but id decided to up RAGE’s frame rate instead of graphics.

Carmack went on to suggest in his keynote that current graphical methods are a bit unsustainable, and while graphics “do still matter,” id decided to up RAGE’s frame rate instead of its graphics. Most games go 30fps, RAGE went 60fps.

He then revealed that he has started a “new project,” which has him “exploring some things.” These “research engines” could be added to the PC version of RAGE via updates. He loves PC, apparently, calling it “crazy” how much power they have to work with on the platform, and said the firm put 192GB of RAM into a test server, to, well test it obviously.

Carmack said the code is at ten times the bitrate and the firm plans to release it as patch on PC to “test the extra benefit.” He also admits that textures up close don’t look all that great in RAGE, so the team is considering a potential downloadable release of a “super quality pack” on PC.

According to the id man, Doom was too dark which caused people not to be able to see everything, so the team used regular lighting and post-processing in RAGE. Post-processing “mucks up” pixels sometimes, he said.

He then went on to talk about coding and writing good software, which can be deterministic. It works or it doesn’t and if enough people become involved, it can become “disturbingly statistical.”

Content in RAGE is finished, he said, but code is complex so looking back on it: “if we had backed off on the complexity a bit, we could have shipped two games in the time it took to make RAGE,” he said. He said production and QA is under the main roof now, where as back in the Doom 3 days, id just made a game and sent it off to the publisher.

DOOM 3 source code

Carmack said once RAGE is released, id will focus on giving the DOOM 3 source code to the public. It will be released sometime this year. Carmack said this is also a challenge to other developers to release old source code. It helps the development community and id.

Q&A

After his keynote, Carmack opened up the floor to questions from the audience, where he spoke on a myriad of subjects. Here’s a few bits, bobs, and quotes:

Doesn’t “really have anything to say , ” about DOOM 4. It’s the “year of RAGE.”

  • Someone asked him about Doom 4. Carmack said this was the year of RAGE and he doesn’t “really have anything to say about it.” However, it scales to 60fps on PC, the RAGE guys are all moving over to DOOM, and id is still “hoping to do RAGE 2.”
  • A browser-based Wolfenstein is “off the table.”
  • Quake Live “has not been a business success.” The next Quake will be internal, but nothing’s in the works right now.
  • Mobile titles could be our best shot at bringing back “the golden age of modding.”
  • “Our future games will have dedicated servers.” RAGE will not, apparently.
  • Carmack hates it when there are tons of kernels running.
  • He was asked about static analysis, non-mutable variables, and he talked about how he has “voxelized the entire world,” and participates in “voxel-casting”.
  • Carmack hasn’t been playing with rockets in three months due to RAGE crunch time. He is also not accepting any more contract work, because he doesn’t want to get trapped as “small company that does government work.”
  • He is not interested at the moment in Linux or Mac, as the main RAGE release is the focus at this time. “We’d like to support all that,” he said, but Linux is furthest “down the totem pole.” So it’s not out of the question, but not scheduled at this point.
  • id games could work on Android, but at the moment, resources are the main issue as the firm needs a “clear business case” to prove it would be worthwhile.
  • Id Tech Five will go open source eventually. “Could be ten years.” Depends on when people stop using it for official projects.
  • Carmack talked about how we’re already in the future with Kinect tech, tracking, etc.

You can review the liveblog yourself below.

[Original story by Johnny Cullen, contributions by Patrick Garratt and Stephany Nunneley, liveblog by Nathan Grayson.]

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27 Comments

  1. BULArmy

    Actually I will be surprised if Doom 4 is showed. Maybe just announced, but we all know it is the works.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Johnny Cullen

    They already announced it donkeys ago. They just haven’t shown it.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Freek

    You won’t see or hear anything about Doom 4 untill Rage hits retail, it’s just doesn’t make sense to get people excited for your next game if they haven’t even bought your current one yet.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    I think you may well see it tonight. A lot of Euro press are there this time, and Kotaku did a DOOM 4 piece yesterday. They did say last year that they were going to show it this time.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. BULArmy

    After the Doom 3 “when it’s done” and not knowing much for RAGE some years after it was announced and I am absolutely sure that Doom 4 will follow in that pattern.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. StolenGlory

    The biggest difference of course being that whereas Doom 3 and RAGE both had the distinction of being created with all-new tech, Doom 4 is allegedly running on the now existing idTech5, meaning that the development time (in theory at least) shouldn’t be as long as those other two titles.

    Right?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. pukem0n

    is there any place where one can watch this? or are there only liveblogs?

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Suikoden Fan

    @7 i also want to know, there was a feed last year, so there should be one this year

    #8 3 years ago
  9. abbe

    I do need a videofeed as well, couldnt find anything at all last year. :/

    #9 3 years ago
  10. el duderino

    I went out and bought snacks and drinks just for this.If that son of a bitch trolls us again,i’ll be proper mad.At least give us a teaser for doom

    #10 3 years ago
  11. manamana

    ^ lol :-D

    #11 3 years ago
  12. deadstoned

    Anyone know where we can watch this?

    #12 3 years ago
  13. chriswhaaat

    http://www.own3d.tv/quakecon

    The Quakecon website says they’ll be streaming there

    #13 3 years ago
  14. chriswhaaat

    maybe not looks theyre just showing quake matches

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    Seems so, yeah. Nathan’s updating the liveblog now.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. someguy2

    Keynote livestream?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Stephany Nunneley

    For fun, here is an id infographic: http://cdn.gamefront.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/historyofid3medres.jpg

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Maximum Payne

    Doom 4 is also going to run at 30 frames so that means even better graphic then RAGE.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    They had even problems to make 60 FPS on the PC with RAGE.

    So, no 65+ or more… it’s a shame really but whatever.

    LIVESTREAM guys?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. LOLshock94

    why does he talk as if he is the first ever person to code a game

    #20 3 years ago
  21. loki

    What a goof
    All Carmack’s interview: PC rules, i love PC, i fuck with PC
    Little bit boring

    #21 3 years ago
  22. BULArmy

    The nice feeling when you are right :D

    Also big adimirations for Carmack that he is not afraid to tell us straight that there are issues with all the tech.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Stephany Nunneley

    There. It’s been prettied up a bit. Wow that was long.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. el duderino

    FUCK YOU JOHN.That’s all.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. lkm

    his talking like doom is some shit. “RAGE team moving on to DOOM 4″ is it means that they didn’t even began working on doom 4? wtf did they Announce 4 years ago?!

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Lounds

    Rage doesn’t look amazing in my eyes, I thnk it’s hyped a bit too much.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Telepathic.Geometry

    Really? Looks amazing to me. I’m coming from more of an art direction appreciation angle though, not tech.

    #27 3 years ago

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