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id Software Demos Rage On iPhone, Releases Source Code For Two Games 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the iphone-is-all-the-rage dept.
glenkim writes "Kotaku has posted their liveblog of the QuakeCon 2010 keynote, with some big announcements by game developer and Slashdot regular John Carmack. Highlights include a video of the id Tech 5 engine (aka Rage) running on the iPhone 4G at 60fps, with claims that it also runs on the iPhone 3GS. Carmack noted that performance on the iPhone was able to 'kill anything done on the Xbox or PlayStation 2.' He also announced the source code release of two games, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Also, Carmack finally admitted that Doom 3 was too dark!"
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id Software Demos Rage On iPhone, Releases Source Code For Two Games

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  • by F34nor (321515) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:01PM (#33235156)

    I kept waiting for some killer game but didn't notice it ever. Any ideas?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tamran (1424955)

      I was hoping they'd port full doom1 and doom2 to the doom3 engine as an expansion pack. There'd be little programming effort there, mostly art and modelling. If they went for a more modernized game, with a similar feel and speed of the old one people would line up for it for sure. Well ... I'd buy it.

    • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was pretty good, even though it sold poorly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)

        It was actually pretty poor. I guess you you'd never played Tribes, or any of the Battlefield games you could think it was good... but Battlefield: 2142 basically did everything ET:QW did, with better balance, and was released earlier.

        The funny thing is that the original Enemy Territory game on the Wolfenstein engine was actually really innovative. But by the time Quake Wars came out, everything they did was old-hat and they didn't improve on it at all. (And in some ways, they anti-improved on it! The grid

        • I only played the Quake Wars demo but the movement and combat on foot seemed vastly smoother and more natural (read: Quake-like) than any of the Battlefield games. It seems to me that a lot of recent id games have had strong technical merits but not so great gameplay. *Shrug*

          • by Blakey Rat (99501)

            vastly smoother and more natural (read: Quake-like)

            Maybe it's because I played Tribes first, but I never particularly thought Quake could be called "more natural". Maybe if you're hopped-up on crack.

            But the real point, while there is value to that (although we disagree), it's vastly outweighed by the other problems with the game.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:18PM (#33235270)

      The engine was a total flop. It didn't look very good, personally I'd say Unreal Engine 2.5 (UT2004) looked better, and especially for the hardware it required. When Unreal Engine 3 came out, it was done. The complete list of games on the Doom 3 engine is:

      Doom 3
      Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil
      Quake 4
      Prey
      Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
      Wolfenstein (the new one from 2009)

      And Brink is using it, scheduled for 2011. That's it. 5 titles, one expansion for the whole engine. Compare this to the about 100-150 games for Unreal Engine 3. Games devs just did not care for iD Tech 4 (the Doom 3 engine) at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MaxBooger (1877454)
        The Rage engine, however, should be a different matter entirely. The MegaTexture tech gives developers the capability of porting their present-day Xbox360 and PS3 games to the Xbox4 and PS4 platforms with an immediate boost to graphic quality. If id is smart enough, they will have the game code separate from the engine code. Hell, if they do that, id might do the porting for free. In fact, that might make solid business sense, given the value that id has in the megatex tech. Keep the engine code binary-only
        • by Quarters (18322) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @11:22PM (#33235586)
          Megatexturing was backported into idtech4 for Quake Wars. While idtech5 looks sexy id made an announcement that will make many developers wary of the engine. Idtech5 can only be licensed if a developer publishes through Bethesda (http://www.geek.com/articles/games/id-tech-5-will-only-be-used-for-bethesda-published-games-20100812/ [geek.com].

          Bethesda doesn't have a partner publishing program like EA and THQ do. That implies it will be a more traditional, "We own the IP" publisher/developer relationship. That's especially worrisome for smaller independent studios. Larger studios can possibly have the clout to maintain their IP. But, most large studios are not independent, they're owned by publishers that compete with Bethesda.. There's no way an EA, Activision, THQ, TakeTwo, or Ubisoft studio will use idtech5. Along with that liability on the engine there are no shipped games to prove the engine is viable, it's not known what the dev support will be like, and there is no one outside of Id that has experience with it.

          Unreal rules the roost right now. There's no publisher lock-in, there are hundreds of games to prove it's viability, the dev support is all online, easily referenced, and complete, and the widespread use of it means that it is easy to find programmers, designers, and artists that have experience on the toolset. idtech5 has to not only be as good as unreal in all of those areas, it arguably has to be better. A studio that knows how to make games with Unreal would have to dump all of their institutional knowledge if they went with idtech5. That's a huge loss of competitive advantage.

          Idtech5 might do amazingly well. Given the long timespan since choosing an id engine to make a game was commonplace, the explosion of Unreal as the defacto engine middleware, a decent number of other competing engine middleware packages (Gamebryo, Crytek, Unity, etc...), and the Bethesda lockin I am not expecting idtech5 to be a disrupting force in the game development industry.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by bonch (38532)

            I wonder what effect this may have on a future source code release of id Tech 5.

          • Unreal rules the roost right now. There's no publisher lock-in, there are hundreds of games to prove it's viability, the dev support is all online, easily referenced, and complete, and the widespread use of it means that it is easy to find programmers, designers, and artists that have experience on the toolset. idtech5 has to not only be as good as unreal in all of those areas, it arguably has to be better. A studio that knows how to make games with Unreal would have to dump all of their institutional knowledge if they went with idtech5. That's a huge loss of competitive advantage.

            Maybe that's why they went for lock-in? Because id isn't really a strong competitor in the "game engine market" anymore?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 13, 2010 @01:17AM (#33236024)

        The engine "flopped" because id didn't push it as a commercial engine in the same way they did with id Tech 3. They had been there, dealt with the tech support for external devs and companies, and found they just didn't want to do that again. Aside from a couple of close-knit companies there was no encouragement to use it. Epic, on the other hand, took the corporate angle, focused on building and marketing a sellable engine, and provided a commercial support network that encouraged lots of reuse.

        But yeah, don't let the facts get in the way of a good beat-up.

      • by dan828 (753380) on Friday August 13, 2010 @01:30AM (#33236080)
        You forgot Duke Nukem Forever! It's going to use the Doom 3 engine!
    • by morari (1080535)

      Prey was pretty entertaining. I also thought that Wolfenstein was decent, even if the mouselook was sluggish and suffered from console-itis.

  • Doom3 to dark? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:02PM (#33235168) Homepage

    It was too dark to play in a well lit area, but the perfect game for playing with the lights out and surround sound. Too niche of an audience to experience the game that way I suppose.

    • by F34nor (321515) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:04PM (#33235180)

      What has a light side and a dark side and holds the universe together?

    • It was too dark to play in a well lit area, but the perfect game for playing with the lights out and surround sound. Too niche of an audience to experience the game that way I suppose.

      Like, in a darkened, maybe unfinished, parents basement with eerie acoustic properties? I'd say they have they're audience nailed.
    • Myself and a friend used to have a shitload of fun in this exact scenario. We did our own version of Co-Op mode, I was good with the shotgun, he was good with the MG, we'd swap back and forth as we ran out of bullets for our weapon of choice. Throwing the controller across the room in the middle of trying not to die added an awesomely fun level of excitement to the gameplay.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:10PM (#33235228)

      The problem was that the shadows were hard. The the real world, light bounces. This is why if you turn on a flashlight, you can see things in the room not in the beam. Light bounces off one surface, then off another and so on. You can simulate this via radiosity on computers. Problem is that is real expensive computationally. You don't do it in realtime. So generally what most games do is a cheap global illumination. There is an all pervasive amount of light applied to everything, and then specific dynamic lighting.

      Well in Doom 3, there was no GI, and all light bounced only once. So anything directly illuminated, you saw. However anything else, was completely dark. Shadows were complete, there was no shadowed corner where things were visible, but barely.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        The problem was that the shadows were hard. The the real world, light bounces. This is why if you turn on a flashlight, you can see things in the room not in the beam. Light bounces off one surface, then off another and so on. You can simulate this via radiosity on computers. Problem is that is real expensive computationally. You don't do it in realtime. So generally what most games do is a cheap global illumination. There is an all pervasive amount of light applied to everything, and then specific dynamic lighting.

        Well in Doom 3, there was no GI, and all light bounced only once. So anything directly illuminated, you saw. However anything else, was completely dark. Shadows were complete, there was no shadowed corner where things were visible, but barely.

        I'm not sure that this is to much of an issue, unless there is some kind of tone-mapping involved it would be near impossible to see the indirect lighting while have the direct component at the correct exposure level. I think that the way most games pump up the ambient term in order to show the contents of the shadows looks bad, it kills the contrast.

        • by bertok (226922) on Friday August 13, 2010 @12:04AM (#33235742)

          I'm not sure that this is to much of an issue, unless there is some kind of tone-mapping involved it would be near impossible to see the indirect lighting while have the direct component at the correct exposure level. I think that the way most games pump up the ambient term in order to show the contents of the shadows looks bad, it kills the contrast.

          On the contrary, it's very visible. Without global illumination, 3D scenes look very 'fake' to observers, even if they don't know why. In contrast, scenes rendered with a high quality GI algorithm look much more realistic, even with flat colouring or simple textures and little detail. For example, Valve often makes "untextured" maps for play testing with only GI lighting applied. They look surprisingly good, despite every surface having nothing but a plain placeholder texture.

          Ironically, maps with pre-computed GI for lighting was a feature that I'm fairly sure was either invented by id software's John Carmack, or he was the first person to implement it in a widely used game engine. It surprised me that he dropped the feature in Doom 3, when it was one of the more impressive technical advancements in his previous games!

          In general, Doom 3 seemed to me to be a game that tried to be so technically advanced in a few specific areas that it had to compromise in others, resulting in an engine that wasn't very good overall. John Carmack even made a comment in a forum before the game's release that he was "targeting" 30fps, which to me felt like a bit of an admission of failure, because at the time every other game engine was already aiming for a constant 60fps, which is the minimum for smooth game play.

          • by Khyber (864651)

            "a constant 60fps, which is the minimum for smooth game play."

            Never play games on any 8-bit or 16-bit consoles, eh?

            Plenty playable at 25 or 30FPS. Plenty smooth.

            • Never play games on any 8-bit or 16-bit consoles, eh?

              Small nitpick: 8 and 16 bit games routinely ran at 60fps. It was the 32-bit and first generation of 64-bit consoles that brought us 'cinematic' frame rates. :D

              • by Trepidity (597)

                Well, it depends on what you count as a "frame". NTSC does 60 interlaced "fields" per second, but each field is only every other line, so you get a full screen refresh at around 30 fps, though that's admittedly a different effect from noninterlaced 30 fps.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            Indeed, I should have made myself clearer, when I said that global illumination isn't particularly visible, I'm only talking about when the direct light is exposed correctly, as is usually the case when you're looking at an environment illuminated by a flash [wikimedia.org](or a flash-light that's close to the camera :) ) . However when the direct light is overexposed, for example a room lit by a window [flickr.com], then the indirect is very important.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            a constant 60fps, which is the minimum for smooth game play

            No it's not. Back when I were a lad playing Doom on a 286 anything over 30 fps would have seemed like unimaginable bloody luxury. But we still enjoyed it.

            Kids these days, etc.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by FreonTrip (694097)
              Doom wouldn't run on a 286, silly man, though Wolfenstein 3D did. :P I seem to remember anything south of a 386DX/25 being kind of a stretch for Dooming, and a 33 MHz 486 offered an experience decent enough for multiplayer. A DX/2 66 was good enough to show off, and any kind of Pentium managed to top out the framerate in all but the most demanding user-made maps of the time. The video card could be a bottleneck, too - folks with 256k Trident VGA cards were at a disadvantage compared to S3, Tseng Labs, or
        • by TD-Linux (1295697)

          I'm not sure that this is to much of an issue, unless there is some kind of tone-mapping involved it would be near impossible to see the indirect lighting while have the direct component at the correct exposure level. I think that the way most games pump up the ambient term in order to show the contents of the shadows looks bad, it kills the contrast.

          Go in a dark room, aim a bright flashlight at a ceiling, and see what happens.

      • by billcopc (196330)

        True radiosity is very computationally expensive, as you say (basically raytracing), but one can fake it for game purposes by creating a faint omni light source at the flashlight's head, and another where the light "beam" intersects any objects. This would have helped Doom 3 TREMENDOUSLY.

        I don't think anyone questions that John Carmack is a super-genius, but some of his WTF moments make you wonder if he ever steps outside his "bubble".

    • and why no guns with a flash light on them or duck tape on mars?

    • Re:Doom3 to dark? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:28PM (#33235330)

      Now he should apologize for the hilariously outdated use of monster closets, terrible storyline, idiotic directorial decisions (no flashlight on guns, only 60 seconds of air!!) and extreme "meh"-ness of the entire Doom 3 experience.

      Normally, you're happy when a game experience lasts 20+ hours. With Doom 3 it was more like, "there's more? Fuck me!" Especially after you beat the boss from hell, and have to go *back* to Mars for another few hours of tedium.

      • by QuantumG (50515) *

        GRRRARRAAAHHH!! WTF? Oh, was that a monster? What's going on, why am I losing health?

        Doom 3 made me think there was something wrong with my graphics card.

    • Thats how i played. In our wet basement too (seriously). My wife and daughter would sneak down the stairs and scare the crap out of me. I really liked Doom 3. I also really liked quake 4 (single player for both). For serious fraging however, quake 3 is still on the money.
  • Commander Keen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phrostie (121428) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:09PM (#33235222)

    I want my Commander Keen!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Several years ago I asked him the same question by phone. Basic story was that his copy of the Commander Keen projects were lost during a move into their new offices, but someone else (Romero) might still have a copy. He also shared that the source code was very simplistic, almost embarrassing at the time we spoke, and that anyone with a little motivation could make a better game engine. Good point, but I still think it should be made available for historical purposes if anyone still has it. I bet comme

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by oljanx (1318801)
      I want my John Carmack back! Remember the days when there was a clear 3D god to worship? And he wrote engines for the PC. And they rocked. What happened to all of that?
      • by BigDXLT (1218924)
        Now he's building lunar landers and other neato stuff.

        Maybe he grew up?
      • Fact is that opengl/DX and the hardware to back it up, have made solid 3d engines much easier to write at an acceptable standard. Quake 1 came out before we all had hardware 3d. Hell it was very influential to creating that market. Writing something that *worked* at all was hard. All the original iD titles pushed hardware to the edge and did things others just couldn't replicate. Its not then anymore.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        Computers got much faster. Carmack was a good implementer, but most of the stuff that he implemented had been presented in graphics conferences earlier (not all of it, but a lot). His skill was doing stuff on a commodity PC that academics were doing on a high-end workstation. Now, there's not so much demand for that. Any moderately competent coder can take a load of SIGGRAPH papers, implement them, and end up with an engine. The difference in skill level has gone from meaning the difference between 'ru
    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      Hmm.. I suppose I could rewrite the engine to use the original artwork.. the only problem would be getting signoff from whoever owns the ip these days.

  • One of the two games who's engine went GPL is Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. It was already a freeware game. Sadly its engine was getting old as people struggled to get its OSS audio working on newer distros with ALSA/Pulseaudio. I look forward to that being fixed on other great improvements being made to Wolf ET.
    • by rotide (1015173)
      Honestly, the fact that the engine is "getting old" is the reason they opened up the source. They aren't going to make any more money out off of it and students/hobbyists will love being able to tinker with it.
    • by ggambett (611421)
      Awesome! I look forward to the exact same gameplay and balance ported to a new engine :)
  • by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:23PM (#33235314) Journal

    You know, about 5 years ago, I bet a lot of people would have been very excited about GPL release of ET. I suppose someone will probably do something with it, but this seems ridiculously long after the game's publication.

    ET wasn't even a revenue generating game for them - they gave it away for free (well, I do remember seeing some copies for sale at computer stores - I guess you can get some people to pay for something they could just download for free, legally).

    I know that iD makes some (maybe a considerable portion) of their revenue licensing out their engines to other commercial game developers (maybe even developers of non-game simulators, not sure), but even so - did anyone license the ET engine? I mean, I know it was basically the Q3A engine with some modifications - did anyone care about those specific modifications? Anyhow, releasing the game engine as GPL source release doesn't stop them from generating revenue from licensing it for commercial (non-GPL) use. Why wait so long?

    • If I recall there was still a licensee that prevented its release.

      • by JSBiff (87824)

        Buh, wah? The Q3A engine was GPL'ed years ago. What would be so special about the ET Engine, which would prevent it's release, because of some contract agreement with one of iD's licensee's? Other than Splash Damage (I suppose maybe they didn't want it open sourced before), was there any licensee of the ET engine? The other poster who responded said no one licensed the ET engine?

    • The source released is covered under GPLv3, but has some additional terms attached to it. I would guess this makes it GPL-incompatible?

      ADDITIONAL TERMS APPLICABLE TO THE WOLFENSTEIN: ENEMY TERRITORY GPL SOURCE CODE.

      The following additional terms ("Additional Terms") supplement and modify the GNU General Public License, Version 3 ("GPL") applicable to the Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory GPL Source Code ("Wolf ET Source Code"). In addition to the terms and conditions of the GPL, the Wolf ET Source Code is subj

  • by smash (1351)
    ... some people are bitching that the controls will suck, etc. its a proof of concept people, not really intended to be a playable game. it simply shows how well the rage engine scales.
  • iPhone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Necron69 (35644) <jscott DOT farrow AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:46PM (#33235430)

    Screw the iPhone, John. When will ID have an Android version?
    The super AMOLED screen on my Captivate is begging For a good game.

    Necron69

    • Re:iPhone? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rotide (1015173) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @11:05PM (#33235510)
      Proof of Concepts are usually built around one hardware model so they don't have to dick around spending tons of manhours making it work on a wide array of hardware/os'. I have an android, so understand that I say this with zero fanboyism, but Apple pretty much has a more or less single piece of hardware with very small variances in parts used. They could write the software to take advantage of the hardware and have a large number of devices be able to run it. Do that on an android phone and you basically have to pick _one_ phone to do it on. Again, I love Android but lets say they picked the XT720 (the one I have). Well, Cincinnati Bell is currently the only US carrier offering it. They would have a game that would run on a handful of phones. The iPhone just works for their PoC purpose.
      • True enough, but I'm sure the decision had mostly to do with iPhone owners spending a hell of a lot more money on apps than Android owners.

        • Re:iPhone? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday August 13, 2010 @01:11AM (#33236002)
          ...And a lot of the reason that Android users don't spend a ton of money on apps are threefold.

          A) Android has a lot of really good free apps and it has lite apps that don't suck.

          B) Most people who use Android aren't the type of people who spend lots and lots of money on needless things.

          C) With no restrictions on app development, the person who makes a $.99 fart application loses business to the teenager with an hour of free time and an SDK who makes his own one and releases it for free for his own amusement. With the iPhone that app might cost $50 or more to develop.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gig (78408)

            > ..And a lot of the reason that Android users don't spend a ton of money on apps are threefold.

            Your 3 reasons are ridiculous.

            > A) Android has a lot of really good free apps and it has lite apps that don't suck.

            Although a higher percentage of Android apps are free than iOS apps, there are twice as many free apps on iOS, because there are so many more apps. And there are many, many great free apps.

            > B) Most people who use Android aren't the type of people who spend lots and lots of money on needless

          • by Terrasque (796014)

            You forgot:

            D. Paid apps are not avaliable in the store for most of Europe and I think all of Asia.

    • Re:iPhone? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Purity Of Essence (1007601) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @11:11PM (#33235546)

      According to GameSpot:

      Next up is Android. Carmack asked people in the crowd how many people had Androids (a vocal minority, he assessed), and how many had spent more than $20 in the phone's app store. He said he's been checking regularly to see how popular the phones are, and it's to the point where Carmack is starting to think about when the company will bring its products to the platform. It's probably not going to be in the next six months, he said.

      http://www.gamespot.com/news/6273388.html [gamespot.com]

  • Any clues or outright answers as to where I can download John Carmack's entire keynote? Even just audio would be acceptable. I managed to watch the rocketry talk today with him and Richard Garriott. It was fascinating.

    For others, here is some pretty thorough coverage of the keynote:
    http://www.gamespot.com/news/6273388.html [gamespot.com]

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