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  John Carmack QuakeCon 09 Keynote  (Read 10336 times)
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Offline tom
« Posted 2009-08-16 19:10:01 »

Carmack had his QuakeCon keynote a couple of days ago. Not much new but I found it interesting. The technical part starts about an hour in.

As for Java, he mentioned that they may stop making games for the Java and Brew platforms and instead focus on the iPhone.

Offline kevglass

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2009-08-16 19:39:03 »

I swear that guy used to be ahead of the game

Kev

Offline GKW

Senior Member




Revenge is mine!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2009-08-16 19:41:56 »

Mountains of cash seem to have that effect on people.
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Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2009-08-16 23:35:52 »

Isn't he putting most of his effort into rocket science these days rather than graphics tech?

Either way, the detail in the landscapes is jaw dropping. Must be really nice from an artist's point of view to just paint with none of those annoying texture budget restrictions.

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Offline shatterblast

Senior Newbie




Noobier Than Thou


« Reply #4 - Posted 2009-08-17 07:41:45 »

He may have a secret technology or business deal that hasn't been publicly exposed yet, which would give him leverage.

Offline erikd

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2009-08-18 08:42:35 »

Always interesting to hear him speak.
As an aside, he gives the impression to be genuinely enjoying his work and his life, the way he talks about his Teslas and Testarossas during his keynote and all Grin

I agree the landscapes in Rage look amazing!

Offline thiagosc

Senior Newbie





« Reply #6 - Posted 2009-08-20 18:22:46 »

Not sure why people take him so seriously. He is a graphics programmer and nothing more. He is not a programming language designer, he is not an operating system designer, etc. There's plenty he doesn't know.

The only things you might be interested to hear from him is either graphics or business related things. That's it.
Offline Abuse

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2009-08-20 19:58:09 »

Good to hear him slating Firemint  persecutioncomplex

...and criticizing the mobile carriers as the biggest limitation in mobile development!

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Offline erikd

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2009-08-20 23:13:48 »

Not sure why people take him so seriously. He is a graphics programmer and nothing more. He is not a programming language designer, he is not an operating system designer, etc. There's plenty he doesn't know.

The only things you might be interested to hear from him is either graphics or business related things. That's it.

Why ppl take him seriously?
Because he's one of the visionaries of the games industy. And one that's quite vocal in his (usually well founded) opinions.

Offline swpalmer

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Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2009-08-21 00:40:51 »

Why ppl take him seriously?
Because he's one of the visionaries of the games industy. And one that's quite vocal in his (usually well founded) opinions.

He's overrated.  He made a good software 3D rendering engine and it looked impressive - so different from what people were used to seeing that they elevated him to some sort of programming god status....  Then eventually the Quake code was released and if you took a look you could see how crappy it was  Smiley

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Offline erikd

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2009-08-21 08:24:04 »

He's overrated.  He made a good software 3D rendering engine and it looked impressive - so different from what people were used to seeing that they elevated him to some sort of programming god status....  Then eventually the Quake code was released and if you took a look you could see how crappy it was  Smiley

Since when does it matter what the code looks like? Grin

The point is that he did so many innovations in 3D rendering engines (using hw accellerated OpenGL in a game, curved surfaces, using bump mapping to suggest more polygons in models, 'carmacks reverse' etc) and made so many interesting business decisions (share ware, staying independent, open sourcing his game engines for example), that he became one of the most prominent people in the games industry, and IMHO very rightfully so.

I don't know why some people are so eager to downplay his contributions to the games industry.

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2009-08-21 11:50:55 »

[...] he's one of the visionaries of the games industy.

Really? Really?
Visionary?

What visionary stuff has he done?

He used to write seriously awesome game engines, though. The Doom and Quake 1 engines, mostly.

Play Minecraft!
Offline erikd

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2009-08-21 12:31:50 »

Really? Really?
Visionary?

What visionary stuff has he done?

So just read my previous post for examples.

By him being a visionary I just mean that he had the vision to innovate things, simple as that. What's your definition of 'visionary'?

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2009-08-21 13:12:36 »

I'm not arguing he's not talented. I'm just saying that
1) He's not really visionary
and
2) It's not just his technical achievements that make people listen to him.

He's a very talented game engine programmer. He had a team of very talented artists and visionaries helping him to create some of the best games ever made.
However, he wasn't the first to invent or implement any of the things you listed. He did popularize a lot of them, though, but that's probably because the games were massive commercial successes (and very awesome).

If people went by pure technical innovation, people would listen a lot more to the old Blue Sky Productions team. Ultima Underworld was released several months prior to Wolfenstein 3D, and featured full texturemapped 3D gameplay, and was a great game to boot.

Play Minecraft!
Offline erikd

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2009-08-21 13:52:07 »

Quote
Ultima Underworld was released several months prior to Wolfenstein 3D,
However, Catacomb 3-D and Hovertank 3-D were both released before that.

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #15 - Posted 2009-08-21 14:52:24 »

Yes, and Maze War was released in 1974. If that's too step-based for you, Midi Maze was released in 1987, four years before Catacomb 3d.

Hovertank 3D didn't have textured walls, Catacomb 3D was less technically impressive than Ultima Underworld, and the texturemapping was inspired by the UW development.

Play Minecraft!
Offline erikd

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2009-08-21 16:02:41 »

the texturemapping was inspired by the UW development.

I have to admit, you got me there  Smiley

I have fond memories of Midi Maze on my old Atari Mega 2, but from a game engine pov it was nothing special (apart from the nifty MIDI based networking).

So which FPS game engine before Quake3 had curved surfaces?  Wink

Anyway, at the very worst 'visionary' might be stretching things a bit, but I'm still not sure how one can deny his influence in gaming history.
I'm absolutely not in the "Carmack is teh awesome 3d codez god" camp, but there's no denying he's one of the best at what he does, and he is also vocal in his opinions and he's often right. So my point is: No wonder the media takes note and take him seriously; they'd be stupid not to.

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2009-08-21 16:23:35 »

So which FPS game engine before Quake3 had curved surfaces?  Wink

It's not a shooter, but curved surfaces have been around for a while:

Play Minecraft!
Offline erikd

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2009-08-21 16:54:41 »

Ah, Frontier, I remember that game too from my Atari  Smiley
I can't remember though if those curved surfaces were still curves up close, like in Q3?
I'm talking about the mountains in the back, the 2D curves like in the foreground don't count  Tongue

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #19 - Posted 2009-08-21 20:14:09 »

Yeah, the mountains and clouds were bezier patches, iirc.

Play Minecraft!
Offline Abuse

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2009-08-22 00:03:21 »

While we're travelling down memory lane, it might be worth remembering ecstatica - that was nothing but curves! Grin (not to mention being one of the hardest games I ever played!)

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Offline erikd

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« Reply #21 - Posted 2009-08-22 01:10:44 »

Ah yes I remember that one, that was an intriguing game.  Smiley
The curves were not bezier patches though, but all balls and ellipses and such, right?

Actually, I also just remembered a long time ago I wrote a blog post about emulating an early, quite smoothly moving first person shooter from 1983 on MSX:
http://jemu2.blogspot.com/2006/08/old-msx-classic.html#links

Offline shatterblast

Senior Newbie




Noobier Than Thou


« Reply #22 - Posted 2009-08-22 20:09:08 »

I'm not arguing he's not talented. I'm just saying that
1) He's not really visionary
and
2) It's not just his technical achievements that make people listen to him.

One of his secrets that he revealed was that he read a lot of material from local universities and high schools.  He has this huge luck for discovering really young talent, which makes himself look good.  In other words, he knows how to invest in others.  Whether he does it in a good or bad manner, I don't know since wisdom comes in both equally good and evil varieties.  Like Bill Gates, he used other people's ideas and made them happen along with his own.

It just so happens that he had a friend who had connections for financial backing, and after Doom caught the attention of major corporations both in software and hardware, his product helped other products sell by presenting free content.

As far as Quake goes, his development team found themselves forced to listen and cooperate with their art studio team.  Quake had so many bugs, but the open source community cleaned up a lot somehow.  Someone in his group organization had the keen sense of keeping a clean divide between the free and non-free content.

Its odd how software developers are suppose to get paid more yet code goes to the ownership of others.  On the other hand, artists typically receive less pay, but their content has the highest protection in a premium environment.  In fact, artistic endeavors add the definition of premium to code in the first place.  John Carmack would be nowhere without artists, who happened to consist the bulk of his "visionaries."  After that, I guess luck took over.


Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #23 - Posted 2009-08-23 02:56:06 »

One of his secrets that he revealed was that he read a lot of material from local universities and high schools.  He has this huge luck for discovering really young talent, which makes himself look good.  In other words, he knows how to invest in others.  Whether he does it in a good or bad manner, I don't know since wisdom comes in both equally good and evil varieties.  Like Bill Gates, he used other people's ideas and made them happen along with his own.

...

After that, I guess luck took over.

That's pretty much my view of it.  He was obviously smart enough to understand and apply the papers he read from other people's research and I'm sure he contributed many of his own ideas...  but I would bet several of the regulars here are equally talented.  Carmack is unique because he made a few key decisions that made him very rich.

Take a look at the timeline of games  from id (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Carmack)  E.g. Wolfenstien 3D was 1992 at that time I had already seen some interesting things done with realtime 3D rendering on PCs where I was going to university http://www.ece.uwaterloo.ca/~broehl/rend386.html.  This was a hot topic at the time and lots of people were comingup with rendering algorithms - Carmack got it on a shareware game that was very popular so his name is now permanently associated with the birth of 3D computer graphics.

Offline erikd

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« Reply #24 - Posted 2009-08-23 19:43:38 »

So let me get this straight:
  • His game engines were amongst the very best
  • ... as were the hugely successful hit ID games using them
  • He was an early adopter of new techniques and ideas
  • He surrounded himself with the best talent
  • "He was obviously smart enough to understand and apply the papers he read from other people's research"
  • "I'm sure he contributed many of his own ideas... "
  • "...he made key decisions that made him very rich"

...yet he's overrated because the Q2 source didn't look nice, because he didn't invent all the techniques he put in his engines and because he isn't a programming language designer

I think I get it

Offline PeterB

Junior Member





« Reply #25 - Posted 2009-08-23 21:24:20 »



During the development of the games that made him and id software big, he had few committments and was doing what he loved day in day out - games programming.

Now he has other committments and is doing what he loves *now* - X prize/rocket challenges - so I think it's only natural that life and other interests have started to take time away from his once constant love of games programming...

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

That's not to say he won't continue to drive excellent tech in his own company and with others (still on the Open GL ARB too I think?) but he himself has sung the praises of others doing grand job (e.g. Epic) and knows id software couldn't rule the roost forever. Besides, he just wanted "to make great games".

Don't worry Doom fans, I'm sure he'll take time out his rocket building and make time for games when it counts: (from ArmadilloAerospace) : "John has been so busy with his duties at id Software"

 Smiley





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Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #26 - Posted 2009-08-28 01:08:39 »

So let me get this straight:
  • His game engines were amongst the very best
  • ... as were the hugely successful hit ID games using them
  • He was an early adopter of new techniques and ideas
  • He surrounded himself with the best talent
  • "He was obviously smart enough to understand and apply the papers he read from other people's research"
  • "I'm sure he contributed many of his own ideas... "
  • "...he made key decisions that made him very rich"

...yet he's overrated because the Q2 source didn't look nice, because he didn't invent all the techniques he put in his engines and because he isn't a programming language designer

I think I get it

You are overstating my objection. I simply think he is overrated because he gets credit for the parts he didn't do and a significant portion of what made him famous was largely a side-effect of being in the right place at the right time.  He has skills and deserves credit for them... but he's put on this pedistal that is significantly too high.  E.g. Duke Nuke'm had a better 3D engine than what id had at the time but nobody cares.
The Quake code being butt ugly and poorly architected is just an indicator that he and the others at id weren't the sort of super-beings that they are often made out to be.

Offline OverKill

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #27 - Posted 2009-08-28 08:00:35 »

...and criticizing the mobile carriers as the biggest limitation in mobile development!
Pls, people in the Mobile business have been complaining about this (and other stuff) since before mr Carmack even began doing anything with mobiles.
People act like he is Columbus, when there were more people that have already discovered America before him.

But I said it before and I will say it again, the Carriers and the Phone manufacturers do not care what mr Carmack says.
If they even know him.

He might be a visionary when it comes to gfx development but I hate to say this but otherwise there is not much in those games.
Offline tom
« Reply #28 - Posted 2009-08-28 10:13:53 »

...so you criticize him for saying something that is true. Just because he is not the only one saying it.

Offline OverKill

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #29 - Posted 2009-08-31 10:19:21 »

Was not directed at him and I do not think that part of my reply indicates this in any way.

It is in fact directed at the people who somehow think that this some kind of new thing that only mr Carmack could have figured out.
Kinda like some kind of revelation from their messiah or something.
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