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Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Quick Review Of Carmack's QuakeCon 2004 Speech
8:11 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Further to IMG's online coverage of QuakeCon, held earlier this month at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, in Grapevine, Texas, this reporter thought it best to bring to our reader's attention some of the details covered in a video chat hosted by John Carmack.

Every year. the legendary programmer, industry stalwart, and lead figure over at id Software hosts a little chat with the convention's audience, in which he brings the attendees up to par with the latest and greatest in graphical technology, and where he sees the future leading. This year's "state of the game" chat, although held on video instead of in person, played out as expected.

Carmack opened by speaking on the recently-released PC version of the long-awaited first person shooter DOOM 3. Game developers often have to predict where game technology will be when their current title will be released, which can be a bit of a gamble - just ask 3D Realms's George Broussard about the disastrous effects of jumping to the wrong conclusions. While Carmack felt his company hit the nail on the head with this year's hotly-anticipated release, he pointed out some of the game's graphical flaws - texture seams; the lack of CPU-friendly, multiple-highlights specular engine; "in-surface" aliasing - and described how each problem is being addressed.

A large section of his discussion focused on realistic shadows, and the technological hurdles hardware and software developers still need to overcome. Carmack even had a few words about the competition between graphic card manufacturers ATI and NVIDIA, and blamed them for the slow advance in shadow technology.

Carmack continued the speech by devoting some time on the art and craft of engine design, explaining the game development process as a co-operation between the game's programmers and artists, each one helping the other out in working towards the final product. He finally ended the speech with a quick foray into id Software's next game, a single-player first-person game which he expects will not take long to develop.

Readers interested in checking out Carmack's speech for themselves can download the two movie files through the link below. While the lengthy talk does contain its fair share of industry jargon and technospeak, it's worth a download to readers interested in the technical side of game development.

As reported previously here on IMG, id Software has announced plans to port the code for the highly-popular first person shooter to the Mac, however, according to rumors from attendees of this year's QuakeCon, the optimization of the code for the Mac OS may be proving trickier than originally intended, and PC publishers Activision have still not yet secured a Mac-publisher for the popular title.

Stay tuned to IMG as more news of this popular title comes down the pipe.

QuakeCon 2004 John Carmack Keynote Videos Part 1 (591 MB)
QuakeCon 2004 John Carmack Keynote Videos Part 2 (166 MB)
id Software
Buy DOOM 3

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