Id Interviews, New Q3A Site
8:43 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Several interviews with two of id Software's most prominent figures have been posted recently. VoodooExtreme has posted the last of their extensive three-part interview with John Carmack. Some of the questions asked are from other leaders in the gaming industry, such as Valve's Gabe Newell (creator of Half-Life). One of the most interesting responses by Carmack seems to reflect on the recent trial in which Hasbro and Atari sued companies who published games similar to the classic Asteroids, Centipede, etc.; the lawsuit ended with two settlements in Atari's favor. Following this precedent, id could potentially sue every other maker of a first-person shooter, as they for all intents and purposes invented the genre. Here's an excerpt:
Voodoo Extremist Gabe Newell; Valve Software -- What advice would he give other developers to help preempt patent litigation?A very interesting take on the situation, but not surprising considering Carmack's tendency to open-source past projects he has worked on. Check out the rest of the article for more from the man behind Quake.
John Carmack -- I just don't know what to do about software patents. There probably isn't another issue that can make me feel so helplessly frustrated.
Patents are supposed to help promote invention and allow benefits to accrue to inventors. By most definitions, I would be considered an "inventor" of sorts, and patents sure as hell aren't helping me out.
The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying.
To laymen, all of programming is alchemy, and trying to convince them that any given software patent is "obvious" or "clearly follows from the problem" is really tough.
The only way to fight it is with legal and political means, and I don't have the skills or tools to even formulate a plan of attack. I give money to causes that try to fight those battles.
The only scenario that I can see would be to have enough truly, blatantly stupid patents prosecuted that someone could make a stand in congress and show the public in an understandable way just how wrong it is.
On a personal level, I refuse to patent anything that I am involved in.
Anyone that has ever gotten an idea based on any of my work and done something better with it - good for you.
Stomped Q3A Site
On a related note, our CGA partner site Stomped has opened up a new site dedicated to everything about Quake 3: Arena. There is lots of good information over a variety of topics, from getting started in single or multiplayer to configuring Q3A for optimal performance. To open their site, they have chatted with id's Graeme Devine a bit about Quake, Doom, and that company's future plans. It's a quick Q&A, but worth a look.
IMG News: Hasbro Settlement in Content Lawsuit
Stomped Interview with Graeme Devine
VoodooExtreme Interview with John Carmack
Quake III Arena
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