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John Carmack On RAGE For iOS/Android 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the lines-starting-to-blur dept.
Andrew Smith writes "John Carmack has an article up on the Bethesda blog discussing the iPhone/iPad version of RAGE, which is said to run at an impressive 60fps. 'Managing over a gig of media made dealing with flash memory IO and process memory management very important, and I did a lot of performance investigations to figure things out. Critically, almost all of the data is static, and can be freely discarded. iOS does not have a swapfile, so if you use too much dynamic memory, the OS gives you a warning or two, then kills your process. The bane of iOS developers is that "too much" is not defined, and in fact varies based on what other apps (Safari, Mail, iPod, etc) that are in memory have done. If you read all your game data into memory, the OS can’t do anything with it, and you are in danger. However, if all of your data is in a read-only memory mapped file, the OS can throw it out at will.' And a tweet by Carmack yesterday suggests that an Android version of RAGE is on the way too."
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John Carmack On RAGE For iOS/Android

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  • Re:Rage? (Score:2, Informative)

    by klingens (147173) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @01:54PM (#34074044)

    RAGE is the 3D game engine Carmack/id Software wrote. Now they want to port it to smartphones and pads to enable others to build 3D games there.

  • by willy_me (212994) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @02:46PM (#34074382)

    So why is Carmack talking about 60 fps on a graphics engine designed for phones?

    Generating graphics is not the only task given to the CPU*. There are many other parts to a game that all require CPU time. So if a game can get high frame rates it implies that there will be some CPU available for the other important parts of a game.

    *And I realize that the GPU does most of the work with graphics but the CPU is also an important part of the equation.

  • Re:Rage? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Narishma (822073) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @02:55PM (#34074434)

    No, the RAGE engine (which stands for Rockstar Advanced Game Engine) is the one used by Rockstar in their various recent games (GTA4, Red Dead Redemption and others). id Software's engines are called idTech and the one used for Rage the game is called idTech 5.

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @02:59PM (#34074466)

    So why is Carmack talking about 60 fps on a graphics engine designed for phones? Is he actually clueless about the issue, is it marketing speak, or does he simply want to advertise to developers who may not be as familiar with the issue as he himself is?

    Or perhaps, just perhaps, he is happy about 60 fps on a phone, simply because it gives a 100% headroom for situations and games that require more than the RAGE demo?

    I don't know about you, but personally I'd rather have 100% headroom than 0%.

  • Re:so... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2010 @03:00PM (#34074474)

    I think the only important Dalvik dependency for a native game is on audio and I/O -- stuff like app setup simply isn't relevant from a performance perspective. OpenSL ES should take care of the audio part, if/when that arrives (2.3? 3.0? who knows?).

  • Re:so... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2010 @03:53PM (#34074854)

    That's not true. You call into native and you can stay there entirely for the rendering portion so there is no JNI back and forth overhead only native.
    You need the Java code just to setup the windowing system and provide integration with the platform.
    Currently Android has slightly lower FPS than iPhone because it uses an outdated FP library.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @05:29PM (#34075384)

    Sorry for sounding like a jerk, but your exposition on rods and cones is all nice and good, but it is _completely_ missing the point, and tells you have never actually shipped a game.

    1. You provide "head room" or "breathing room" so when the level designers and artists go crazy, you don't blow you frame rate budget,
    2. If you can't hit 60 Hz when you ship, you can still EASILY hit 30 Hz. It is MUCH harder when you are already barely pushing 30 Hz at alpha/beta and you need to guarantee every playable area needs to hit 30 Hz without having to drastically redo levels / models, and/or optimize code
    3. 60 Hz is smoother then 30 Hz, (yes there are people that can tell)

    > So why is Carmack talking about 60 fps on a graphics engine designed for phones? Is he actually clueless about the issue,
    As he practically _invented_ 3d first person shooters on PC, I _seriously_ doubt that.

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