QuakeCon 2010: Carmack Ushers in the Age of Optimization

QuakeCon 2010: Carmack Ushers in the Age of Optimization

If you're industry legend John Carmack, porting a gorgeous high-definition game like Rage to the iPhone in mere weeks is just a question of knowing how to optimize.

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...Seriously? A YEAR before the console version releases? That's just hilarious. Usually its the other way around.

Now that's what I call a very talented, devoted and intelligent man. Just, wow.

Speaking as an Englishman, you guys should be proud of Carmack. He's a US National Treasure. This guy is a bona fide genius. Anyone know, for those of us who missed the livestream, if we'll ever get to see a video of the full unexpurgated keynote..? I'd happily settled down with a nice cup of tea to listen to him thinking out loud for a couple of hours.

Watched the keynote. Damn, that guy has done a lot for the industry. And to him it almost seems as if it's "just something I did on my spare-time".

I have figured it out. Carmack is a time lord, and his "evenings and weekends" actually means thousands of hours. OR he is a wizard. That's te only explanations.

Is there any way to actually listen to this keynote in full? I am really interested now!

Aenir:
...Seriously? A YEAR before the console version releases? That's just hilarious. Usually its the other way around.

Yeah...thats, something almost like from a mirror universe...intriguing

John Carmack is a friggin genius. Does anyone have a link to an online video of his keynote? Watching that sounds like a couple of well-spent hours.

Agreed. Carmack is a god. I would also have liked to catch the keynote in full.

"Let's stop rasterizing, let's ray-trace everything."

If he can pull that off, I really would be speechless.

Personally I'm just waiting for idTech4 to be open sourced next year, after Doom 4 and Rage come out. Imagine the possibilities for indies.

Wait. He's got idtech5 running. On an iPhone. Wut.

"Optimization" is how things used to need to work. Limited resources meant if you wanted to do more, you had to figure out how to fit it all onto a floppy diskette. It wasn't until this recent explosion of multi-cores and unreal3 (a name thats always been synonymous with shit optimization) that it started looking like things could/should be done any differently.

People got lazy. Carmack didn't.

I think this man is very smart, but there can be great innovation in chaotic diversity... look at our biosphere, for example.
I'm not saying people should't specialise, I'm just glad not every single one of us has.

Anyway, it's great that he managed to get a version of RAGE going on what is essentially a high-end phone of all things.

SO this is the reason every ID game (no exception, even the new Wolfenstein and ET:QW) have always looked and ran great on my old PC. I mean when DOOM 3 came out it was a HARDWARE MASSACRE. Even Crysis didnt do that much. And yet my PC build 4 years before DOOM 3 was released was able to make it run on High settings (Many thanks to ID and whoever build my old PC. It ran METRO 2033 this year. CROWNONG ACHIEVEMENT for 10 year old tech! BETTER than the the 5 year old XboX 360. 10 year old PC ran a new game on the same settings as a HD console)

I love ID. Whoever made Return to Castle Wolfenstein and DOOM deserves to rule the galaxy.

Veddy veddy interesting, I hadn't thought of it this way before but you may be on to something.

Carmack may say he's a grahpics geek, but I think I dispute that. He's an optimization geek. Always has been. For a while there, our processors and memory development simply outstripped the pace of game development. Not a good world for Carmack to be working in. Now though, with the advent of smaller machines -- netbooks, pc-phones, etc, the constraints issues are coming back into play.. and so Carmack finds himself in his element.

Unfortunately, Zenimaxx still isn't publically traded.

Ya right....Carmack needs to retire.......IDtech5 the new engine is not going to be modifiable most likely due to allowing only Bethesda access to it. I thought the only way they made money was from selling the game engine not the test demos they call games.(come on people the last good ID game was RTCW and it was made by Gray Matter Interactive and Daikatana was almost better than that). ID only makes the engine if they have anythign to do with the game it becomes a watered down corridor shooter.... tho I guess rage will be the exception since its riding the sandbox trend...but I bit its just a bunch of corridors connected to sand box areas.....

Doom 3 was a horrible game that could not sell enough titles to get a decent expansion and the multiplayer was a joke all because Carmack had to make a cinemaagic based engine...... bah humbug on Carmack....

Has anyone found the video of the keynote anywhere?
I've been looking for it for about an hour and if it's there it's hiding well.

I bow to you, Lord Carmack.

You've heard the story how GLQuake came to existence?

So 3Dfx came to Carmack and offered him a briefcase of money to port the game to Glide (or whatever). He refused, so they asked him to do a OpenGL port. So he did. IN ONE WEEKEND.

And the best part, he's been doing this for I dunno, 15? years and can still create the most breakthrough technology.

The man is truly an amazing person. Companies for entire teams of people and still don't come close to what Carmack can do.

Seriously, he got Rage on a damn phone. And he considers it a "side project".

If anyone can find his keynote, please let me know. I really, really want to watch it.

Hell I bet if you give him enough time he'd get Crysis onto a DS.

Carmack is god damn insane... And my hero.

ZippyDSMlee:
Ya right....Carmack needs to retire.......IDtech5 the new engine is not going to be modifiable most likely due to allowing only Bethesda access to it. I thought the only way they made money was from selling the game engine not the test demos they call games.(come on people the last good ID game was RTCW and it was made by Gray Matter Interactive and Daikatana was almost better than that). ID only makes the engine if they have anythign to do with the game it becomes a watered down corridor shooter.... tho I guess rage will be the exception since its riding the sandbox trend...but I bit its just a bunch of corridors connected to sand box areas.....

Doom 3 was a horrible game that could not sell enough titles to get a decent expansion and the multiplayer was a joke all because Carmack had to make a cinemaagic based engine...... bah humbug on Carmack....

Ummm... No to mostly anything you said. Without id Software, the first person shooter would be two, maybe even more years behind. Oh sure, 3D was done before, but Carmack made it work on a DOS system.

People berated Doom 3 for being lame and shallow, yet those same people applauded Dead Space for doing pretty much the exact same thing, especially when it comes to audio logs. It makes me lose faith in humanity to think that people such as those whiners are in the same gene pool as myself.

Umm..yes...impressive; he whipped out some tech from his pants pocket that was made by someone else. Probably an actual engineer.
I have to wonder about people like this: do they really, REALLY come up with these ideas? or do teams and teams of engineers and technicians make his "broad strokes" reality?
And by broad strokes, I mean a shopping list of features.

Zer_:

ZippyDSMlee:
Ya right....Carmack needs to retire.......IDtech5 the new engine is not going to be modifiable most likely due to allowing only Bethesda access to it. I thought the only way they made money was from selling the game engine not the test demos they call games.(come on people the last good ID game was RTCW and it was made by Gray Matter Interactive and Daikatana was almost better than that). ID only makes the engine if they have anythign to do with the game it becomes a watered down corridor shooter.... tho I guess rage will be the exception since its riding the sandbox trend...but I bit its just a bunch of corridors connected to sand box areas.....

Doom 3 was a horrible game that could not sell enough titles to get a decent expansion and the multiplayer was a joke all because Carmack had to make a cinemaagic based engine...... bah humbug on Carmack....

Ummm... No to mostly anything you said. Without id Software, the first person shooter would be two, maybe even more years behind. Oh sure, 3D was done before, but Carmack made it work on a DOS system.

People berated Doom 3 for being lame and shallow, yet those same people applauded Dead Space for doing pretty much the exact same thing, especially when it comes to audio logs. It makes me lose faith in humanity to think that people such as those whiners are in the same gene pool as myself.

Yes the DOOM engine was great and was the first stepping stone of 3D programing,at least to the point it really could be used and marketed. However since then or since the release of Quake 2(quake 3 was to simplistic and just not good as Unreal tournament,even if UT03 sucked in comperesion to Quake 3 ) ID has done nothing with it self its games or its engine. DOOM 3 is nothing more than a show piece for the engine and while it could do more with graphics it lacked everything thats needed in a game of its type, DOOM simply was not meant to be a slow horror game, nor a corridor shooter and D 3 is both of those, dead space was pretty damn good since it was made as a adventure/horror shooter, hell its better than Bioshock which is just a mess balance and design wise.

I don't mind audio logs I mind incomplete unpolished and incompetent designs,levels,weapons uhg D3 is half assed bioshock is a bit better but it has worse shooter elements and the audio logs are more..... random, BS just feels watered down with no real direction on the other hand D3 had a very limited direction due to the constraints of the engine. Daikatana is a lulz fest in most respects but I like the balance loved the level layouts and enjoyed the weapons I can't say that about any recent ID game other than RTCW as quake 4 and Doom 3 are laughable shadows of thier former selfs and yes I said it DOOM 1 has better level design(well layouts) than D3 and Q4 combined had more MP players to boot.....

Carmack is a engine geek but he did not foresee the trouble of going with graphics over content and perhaps it was not his call but at the end of the day he is ID and ID has failed in making great games,hell Raven has fallen with the "comedies" of Quake 4(Splash Damage did most of the work on ET:QW which was better than Q4 on most grounds) and Wolfenstien(08).

Its great he can make one engine support the Iphone and PC/Mac(but it will be limited to only Bethesda so no one else can build using that engine which seems short sighted ) but for me it means nothing because the qaulity of games they put out are not worth the time,effort or money to bother with, or at least have not been in the last 5+ years.

PS:And yes Dead Space is better than Bioshock(and Fallout 3 which is more of a loose unrefied unpolished mess than BS), DS is a partly refined and polished game BS is just a mess its fodder for the common consoltard. Not like the industry makes anythign for the geeky game snob(raises hand) anymore :P.

PSS:Ever since Epic sold out to MS they have pretty much made crap UT3 is a joke,Gears 2 is not bad a shame its control pad only and gears 1 is your typical half a game like Halo 3 sure its good but 30$ good not 60 OMFG good........

PSSS?:I am a not so recovering game snob(screw the platform if the games qaulity sucks there's no fixing that short of a public SDK) >> LOL

PSSSSSS?:I talk too much <<

oranger:
Umm..yes...impressive; he whipped out some tech from his pants pocket that was made by someone else. Probably an actual engineer.
I have to wonder about people like this: do they really, REALLY come up with these ideas? or do teams and teams of engineers and technicians make his "broad strokes" reality?
And by broad strokes, I mean a shopping list of features.

My guess is there's an entire team like you said and he's just the marketting guy, or used to do something and that's why he's now the marketting guy, just look at this forum: everyone is praising him for being a genius - a lot of seemingly blind faith means a lot of money to be made.

Who would you buy from: a genius or a team of ordinary people?

Could be wrong, just a guess.

L-J-F:

oranger:
Umm..yes...impressive; he whipped out some tech from his pants pocket that was made by someone else. Probably an actual engineer.
I have to wonder about people like this: do they really, REALLY come up with these ideas? or do teams and teams of engineers and technicians make his "broad strokes" reality?
And by broad strokes, I mean a shopping list of features.

My guess is there's an entire team like you said and he's just the marketting guy, or used to do something and that's why he's now the marketting guy, just look at this forum: everyone is praising him for being a genius - a lot of seemingly blind faith means a lot of money to be made.

Who would you buy from: a genius or a team of ordinary people?

Could be wrong, just a guess.

That would be the cynical way to look at it. But A) no-one's suggesting Id Software is not a collaborative team exercise and B) the man's a leader. He doesn't need to do every single thing himself to deserve part of the praise for it.

I shudder to think what this man could achieve were he to devote his time to curing cancer.

carmack is brilliant in that he keeps current but is one of the few old schoolers that know the ins and outs of the first gen games, and he is blessed with an uncanny knack for programming and seeing how you can do things.

alot of the failing of the older id engines was more on the shoulders of opengl stumbling and failing to do what they promised. opengl was an amazing standard and id did some incredible things with it, compared to comperable early directx and voodoo standards it was clearly superior in many ways, and it was open source to boot. but then it just lost steam, tho the newest gl is supposed to be as good as ever.

i dunno how anyone could not have a healthy amount of respect for this guy, he was there from the very beginning and he is still coming up with things and doing things that other people never considered and just scratch their heads when he shows the stuff working. the fact he can just seem to do things so easily sometimes because he is practically a prodigy of tech age, hell i think this guy could have been bill gates or steve jobs if he wanted but he wanted to make games period.

Anyone found a full version of his speech yet? I still think it would be pretty damn interesting to listen to.

I have always had a lot of respect for Carmack but unfortunately it's sullied a bit by his recent movement away from PCs and the fact that he's abandoning Dedicated Servers for the PC version of Rage, I mean having Rage on an iPhone, and having it running at 60fps on consoles is all well and good, but I don't want it running like it's on a console when I'm playing it on a PC. :|

Pandora92:
Anyone found a full version of his speech yet? I still think it would be pretty damn interesting to listen to.

I have always had a lot of respect for Carmack but unfortunately it's sullied a bit by his recent movement away from PCs and the fact that he's abandoning Dedicated Servers for the PC version of Rage, I mean having Rage on an iPhone, and having it running at 60fps on consoles is all well and good, but I don't want it running like it's on a console when I'm playing it on a PC. :|

If it can run 60 fps on a console, it's gonna look damn fine on a decent pc.

oranger:
Umm..yes...impressive; he whipped out some tech from his pants pocket that was made by someone else. Probably an actual engineer.
I have to wonder about people like this: do they really, REALLY come up with these ideas? or do teams and teams of engineers and technicians make his "broad strokes" reality?
And by broad strokes, I mean a shopping list of features.

You don't know much about Carmack, do you? He's the reason Id didn't need a huge team. Up until a couple of years ago it was 17 people. When most studios were already putting 50-100 people on projects. I think they expanded not so much because they needed engine programmers, but rather content creators as that became more time intensive. His hobbies are doing portable games in a couple of spare weekends and building rockets. Real rockets. Not toys (they were working on a verticle takeoff / landing unit -- see Armadillo Aerospace for details). He's... terribly bright.

http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/Armadillo/Home

ZippyDSMlee:

Zer_:

ZippyDSMlee:
Ya right....Carmack needs to retire.......IDtech5 the new engine is not going to be modifiable most likely due to allowing only Bethesda access to it. I thought the only way they made money was from selling the game engine not the test demos they call games.(come on people the last good ID game was RTCW and it was made by Gray Matter Interactive and Daikatana was almost better than that). ID only makes the engine if they have anythign to do with the game it becomes a watered down corridor shooter.... tho I guess rage will be the exception since its riding the sandbox trend...but I bit its just a bunch of corridors connected to sand box areas.....

Doom 3 was a horrible game that could not sell enough titles to get a decent expansion and the multiplayer was a joke all because Carmack had to make a cinemaagic based engine...... bah humbug on Carmack....

Ummm... No to mostly anything you said. Without id Software, the first person shooter would be two, maybe even more years behind. Oh sure, 3D was done before, but Carmack made it work on a DOS system.

People berated Doom 3 for being lame and shallow, yet those same people applauded Dead Space for doing pretty much the exact same thing, especially when it comes to audio logs. It makes me lose faith in humanity to think that people such as those whiners are in the same gene pool as myself.

Yes the DOOM engine was great and was the first stepping stone of 3D programing,at least to the point it really could be used and marketed. However since then or since the release of Quake 2(quake 3 was to simplistic and just not good as Unreal tournament,even if UT03 sucked in comperesion to Quake 3 ) ID has done nothing with it self its games or its engine. DOOM 3 is nothing more than a show piece for the engine and while it could do more with graphics it lacked everything thats needed in a game of its type, DOOM simply was not meant to be a slow horror game, nor a corridor shooter and D 3 is both of those, dead space was pretty damn good since it was made as a adventure/horror shooter, hell its better than Bioshock which is just a mess balance and design wise.

I don't mind audio logs I mind incomplete unpolished and incompetent designs,levels,weapons uhg D3 is half assed bioshock is a bit better but it has worse shooter elements and the audio logs are more..... random, BS just feels watered down with no real direction on the other hand D3 had a very limited direction due to the constraints of the engine. Daikatana is a lulz fest in most respects but I like the balance loved the level layouts and enjoyed the weapons I can't say that about any recent ID game other than RTCW as quake 4 and Doom 3 are laughable shadows of thier former selfs and yes I said it DOOM 1 has better level design(well layouts) than D3 and Q4 combined had more MP players to boot.....

Carmack is a engine geek but he did not foresee the trouble of going with graphics over content and perhaps it was not his call but at the end of the day he is ID and ID has failed in making great games,hell Raven has fallen with the "comedies" of Quake 4(Splash Damage did most of the work on ET:QW which was better than Q4 on most grounds) and Wolfenstien(08).

Its great he can make one engine support the Iphone and PC/Mac(but it will be limited to only Bethesda so no one else can build using that engine which seems short sighted ) but for me it means nothing because the qaulity of games they put out are not worth the time,effort or money to bother with, or at least have not been in the last 5+ years.

PS:And yes Dead Space is better than Bioshock(and Fallout 3 which is more of a loose unrefied unpolished mess than BS), DS is a partly refined and polished game BS is just a mess its fodder for the common consoltard. Not like the industry makes anythign for the geeky game snob(raises hand) anymore :P.

PSS:Ever since Epic sold out to MS they have pretty much made crap UT3 is a joke,Gears 2 is not bad a shame its control pad only and gears 1 is your typical half a game like Halo 3 sure its good but 30$ good not 60 OMFG good........

PSSS?:I am a not so recovering game snob(screw the platform if the games qaulity sucks there's no fixing that short of a public SDK) >> LOL

PSSSSSS?:I talk too much <<

Okay....

A) You listed a bunch of subjective criticisms, such as "unrefined," "Unpolished," and "simplistic." You listed criticisms which were solely matters of opinion. Would you mind backing up and making that statement with some objective criticisms? Fallout 3 was not a horror game, so you can't really compare it to DOOM 3 or Dead Space. For crying out loud, it was an RPG, where you leveled up actual stats rather than just upgrading guns. As for Doom 3, Dead Space was released 4 years after Doom 3. Bioshock was not really a horror game either...it was a story with some horror elements, but most of the game had no real horror-nor was it intended too.

B) Spelling/Grammar

C) Nice Avatar. I suppose it's that sidekick Brak from Spaceghost: Cartoon Planet/Villain from Spaceghost the original series with the infamous internet smiley symbol and a Mario Hat?

I have to respect Carmack for his technological prowess - the new set of mobile internet devices are really going to be a good test-bed for his specific set of skills. I also respect him for his long-lasting devotion to open-source programming, and the release of all of his old engines with GNU licensing.

I just wish that he wasn't focusing on devices which are currently ergonomically unsuited to gaming. It would be great to see this on devices which focused on gaming first and all of the other functions second, because the button layouts (or screen layouts, in the case of the iPhone) are badly designed for gaming purposes.

RelexCryo:

ZippyDSMlee:
[quote="Zer_" post="6.225537.7676956"][quote="ZippyDSMlee" post="6.225537.7672882"]

Okay....

A) You listed a bunch of subjective criticisms, such as "unrefined," "Unpolished," and "simplistic." You listed criticisms which were solely matters of opinion. Would you mind backing up and making that statement with some objective criticisms? Fallout 3 was not a horror game, so you can't really compare it to DOOM 3 or Dead Space. For crying out loud, it was an RPG, where you leveled up actual stats rather than just upgrading guns. As for Doom 3, Dead Space was released 4 years after Doom 3. Bioshock was not really a horror game either...it was a story with some horror elements, but most of the game had no real horror-nor was it intended too.

B) Spelling/Grammar

C) Nice Avatar. I suppose it's that sidekick Brak from Spaceghost: Cartoon Planet/Villain from Spaceghost the original series with the infamous internet smiley symbol and a Mario Hat?

I am not compering them to each other, what I am talking about is the modern design emphasis they all share not with each other but with most games in their genres, Doom 3 is simple corridor shooter with more emphasis on horror and cinematics than level layout/design gameplay and mehanics. Fallout 3 is a lose FPS shooter with content geared and balanced for the short 8-10 hour main quest, there are not enough weapons and equipment, skills/levels/perks build way to fast for the 50 hour WHOLE game.Not to mention vats is broken.

Bioshock is limited and unpolished as well with the over all content being watered down to allow access for more shooter fans rather than have them forced to play a less easy to jump into game....

The trouble is can you say that half of the games I mentioned felt really and truly polished and refined, then again if you say DOOM 3 was a corridor shooter with simplistic gameplay and level design and a heavy emphasis on dramatic cinematic events it could well be polished and refined. Or you could say Fallout 3 and BIoshock are polished and refined if you categorize them into their limited defined slots....

As a fan of mechanics and game play the core essence of video games I just can not stand cheap or unfinished designs and modern gaming is plagued by them in order to make the medium cheaper and more popular, its the same damn thing with TV,FILM and RADIO......

Zippyspeak dose not always translate to English grammar well :P(learning disabled and ADHD so sometimes(most times) I fail grammar HARD)

Its Brak the great mentally challenged one who haz a drunken lisp thing goingz(zippy is a bit broken :P). With a Mario cap(gaming fan). Wearing a 4chan thats awesome smile(add in more strangeness). SO you haz a Crazy broken gamer whos weird to boot. LOL

 

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