Carmack: RAGE PC issues “have been a real cluster!@#$”

Friday, 7 October 2011 22:09 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

John Carmack has said the team at id has found the driver issues plaguing RAGE on PC frustrating.

Speaking with Kotaku, creative director Tim Willits agreed with Carmack, stating that when the game was submitted to the “build system,” for testing, the console versions were “solid and bug-free,” but  there were issues on the PC end.

“We have had video drives issues that have caused problems and frustrations with our PC fans,” he said. “Everyone at id Software is very upset by these issues which are mostly out of our control. We are working with both AMD/ATI and Nvidia to help them identify and fix the issues with their drivers.

“We’ve had assurances that these problems are being addressed and new drivers will be available soon.”

Carmack, although censoring himself, called the PC launch issues a “clusterfuck”, stating the team thought driver issues during development were mostly worked out.

“We were quite happy with the performance improvements that we had made on AMD hardware in the months before launch,: he said. We had made significant internal changes to cater to what AMD engineers said would allow the highest performance with their driver and hardware architectures, and we went back and forth with custom extensions and driver versions.

“We knew that all older AMD drivers, and some Nvidia drivers would have problems with the game, but we were running well in-house on all of our test systems. When launch day came around and the wrong driver got released, half of our PC customers got a product that basically didn’t work. The fact that the working driver has incompatibilities with other titles doesn’t help either.

“Issues with older/lower end/exotic setups are to be expected on a PC release, but we were not happy with the experience on what should be prime platforms.”

When asked if this could have been avoided if RAGE’s primary design platform were on PC instead of consoles, as the team at id has noted several times, Carmack reiterated id went the opposite route for a reason.

“You can choose to design a game around the specs of a high-end PC and make console versions that fail to hit the design point, or design around the specs of the consoles and have a high-end PC provide incremental quality improvements,” he said. “We chose the latter.

“We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games. That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version. A high end PC is nearly 10 times as powerful as a console, and we could unquestionably provide a better experience if we chose that as our design point and we were able to expend the same amount of resources on it.

“Nowadays most of the quality of a game comes from the development effort put into it, not the technology it runs on. A game built with a tenth the resources on a platform 10 times as powerful would be an inferior product in almost all cases.”

Yesterday, id updated the Bethblog with download links for AMD and Nvidia drivers, and today, it has updated the page once more with more RAGE-specific updates.

RAGE was released in the UK today.

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