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Carmack Expounds on Doom III 351

Rainier Wolfecastle writes: "Non-high-end-comp-owning geeks rejoice! GameSpot is reporting that John Carmack has confirmed that Doom III is Xbox-bound. Carmack said that id is totally commited to bringing the game to Microsoft's console with its visual splendor intact. Best of all, the game could be available on the Xbox as soon as May next year." And Warrior-GS writes: "John Carmack gave a two-hour presentation about Doom 3 and engine technology. GameSpy reports on the presentations and analyzes Carmack's comments and how they apply to the future of gaming. There is also a look at the demo of Doom III"
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Carmack Expounds on Doom III

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  • by IronTek ( 153138 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @09:46PM (#4090880) Homepage
    The folks here [gamers-ammo.com] managed to record the audio of carmack's speech despite the "no audio, no video" policy (who knows how they snuck it in!).

    enjoy! [gamers-ammo.com]
  • zerg (Score:4, Funny)

    by Lord Omlette ( 124579 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @09:47PM (#4090887) Homepage
    Before anyone accuses Carmack of selling out to Microsoft, please keep in mind that his wife is really hot and he owns his own aerospace company. He doesn't have to sell out to anyone.
  • ... I think I need to change my underwear.

    Anyone got a cigarette?
  • API? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sivar ( 316343 ) <`moc.liamg]' `ta' `[snrubnselrahc'> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @09:55PM (#4090916)
    Does this mean that JC (John Carmack, not the other one) has caved in and will be using Direct3D, or can he use OpenGL without Microsoft throwing a fit?
    • Re:API? (Score:2, Informative)

      by lowe0 ( 136140 )
      Nvidia has an ICD for the XBox, IIRC. MS didn't throw a fit about it for exactly this reason.
    • Does this mean that JC (John Carmack, not the other one) has caved in and will be using Direct3D, or can he use OpenGL without Microsoft throwing a fit?

      Er, this is John Carmack - he can do whatever the hell he likes! Really, even Redmond know how much money he can make (or cost) them. If there ever was a case of the tail wagging the dog, it's him. Likewise, I'm guessing Sony offered him the Earth to get a PS2 version of Doom III...
    • Re:API? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @10:49PM (#4091076) Homepage Journal
      I doubt that department of MS would even care. Just because it's MS, doesn't mean that the XBOX department has any interest in 'evil plans to take over the world'. The goal of that department is to make money. If they sell a million copies of Doom III on the XBOX, then it doesn't matter if ID uses OPG, D3D, or Logo.
      • Re:API? (Score:3, Funny)

        by (startx) ( 37027 )
        Doom3 should definately be written in LogoWriter, cause that kicked ass back in day...wait, even better, I'll make a LogoWriter mod for it! it'll be sweet!
      • That's a good point, but I don't think OpenGL is even written for the Xbox. If Carmack wanted to make his game in OpenGL, he might also have to implement GL on the Xbox hardware, which, as far as I know, has not even been tried.
    • Re:API? (Score:3, Informative)

      by mr_zorg ( 259994 )
      The XBOX boots a minimal Win2K-embedded kernel with just enough support to run the built-in menus and bootstrap the DVD drive. Beyond that it is up to the software vendor to load up any additional modules they need for their game from the DVD drive. Theoretically there's nothing that says the XBOX has to use Direct3D, they could just as easily boot up and use an OpenGL library. Presuming there is one for that graphics chipset -- and since it's essentially a GeForce 3 Ti, I don't see why there wouldn't be.

      As for the porting, I can't imagine there's much to it. The XBOX is a PC at heart, after all. Basically, they just need to pick and choose which Win2K modules they want to load and test it all to make sure it works as expected. Of course, if the game has a complex GUI (which FPSes usually don't) they may need to rework the GUI for simpler use with controller, but that's about it...
    • Does this mean that JC (John Carmack, not the other one)

      You mean Jack Chick? [chick.com]

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @09:58PM (#4090933) Homepage
    From what Carmack is saying, we're about two generations of graphics card technology away from being done. This is encouraging. But there's an assumption that you have a controlled game world, where the world model doesn't overwhelm the graphics pipeline.

    There will still be scaling issues, where the world is big and a lot of it is contributing to the image onscreen. Level of detail processing can help, but there are situations where you have to examine an excessive amount of geometry. One of the worst cases is a detailed city street, where you can see many blocks ahead and there are lots of trees, signs and whatnot that can obscure surfaces further away. Doing that well requires grinding through a lot of geometry. An insane amount of CPU time went into those long views down streets in Toy Story. All those houses have full detail. Game designers currently avoid such situations. Most driving games are laid out so that you never look down a really long street. And fog is your friend. It's still going to be a while before we have architectural-flythrough quality for long views in urban areas in real time.

    Then again, a background process rendering billboards of distant street sections...

  • Whoops! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dscowboy ( 224532 ) <drugstore.cowboy@gte.net> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @10:00PM (#4090945)
    Funny, I thought MS created the XBOX to move gaming away from PCs. Turns out that PC games are keeping the XBOX alive.

    Developers that only make console games will always make games for the PS2 because of the bigger market. Developers that make PC games however, will rarely make PS2 games, because the hardware is different and its difficult/impossible to port. PC games like Doom III and Morrowind will keep the XBOX alive simply because they aren't/won't be available on PS2.

    It looks like MS's only hope of growing their market share to compete with Sony is to cozy up with the PC game developers. How ironic.
    • Re:Whoops! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 )
      "Funny, I thought MS created the XBOX to move gaming away from PCs."

      No. They didn't create the XBOX to move games from PC's, they didn't do it to make Direct3D the de-facto standard, they didn't do it to make Windows a monopoly, they didn't do it to put a set-top box on your tv, they didn't do it to save the whales, and they didn't do it to demand one million dollars from the government. They created the XBOX to tap into the video game market and make money. That's all.

      They made the XBOX PC-like so that PC-based developers would have an easy time transitioning to it. What makes a game system successful is a combination of number of games and quality of games. If a cool game for PC is already in development, you wouldn't have to fight too hard to make an XBOX port of it. GC, PS2, DC, etc don't have it so easy.

      That's actually a really cool strategy to get a number of games onto a new system. The neat thing is that if MS follows suit with XBOX 2, then all the old games will still work. You could even make new games that work on the old hardware, but suddenly get better with the new hardware. That's brilliant!
  • More than likely, anyone with less than a Geforce3, or Radeon 8500 (i.e. has programmable vertex and pixel shaders and DDR memory), 128mb or ram, and ~750mhz will not be able to play this game at playable frame rates. Or they could just change the resolution down to 512x384 and live without all the nifty vertex/pixel shading.

    So be thy forewarned all those with GeForce2 MXs, Rage 128s, and integrated graphics, upgrade or don't try to play this game.
  • does this mean that possibly the game will be published on DVD discs for the PC as well, being that it sounds like it would need that much space, versus like a 4-6 CD set?

  • FPS on consoles (Score:4, Insightful)

    by forkboy ( 8644 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @11:10PM (#4091123) Homepage
    Am I the only one that absolutely HATES playing an FPS on a console? I don't understand the popularity that games like Halo, Half Life and Quake have had on various console systems...it's just not the same level on control if you're not playing with a mouse and keyboard. Maybe I'm just too stuck in my ways to learn a new method of control, but I simply can't enjoy those types on games on consoles.

    The only games I can enjoy on a console are platformers (Sonic, Jak and Daxter, etc), sports games, racing games, and fighting games (mortal kombat, virtua fighter, etc)

    So, is it just a matter of getting used to the controls for FPS-type games on consoles or am I do I actually have a point?

    • You have a point, but the bigger issue for me is the lack of resolution. Playing a FPS or driving game at 640x480 SUCKS!
    • ...but realize that you're looking at ports of various FPS from the computer to a console.

      Consider games such as Turok and Golden Eye for the Nintendo 64, or Metal Gear Solid (2) for the PlayStation (2.) All are prime examples of FPS that worked well on the console, because they were *designed* for a console.

      The gamplay in all 3 are different from that of computer games to compensate for the little console joysticks and lack of control flexibility.

      You'll find that many console games make shitty PC ports for exactly these reasons.
    • It's really sad. I'll play against my friend in games like Red Faction... and when he wins (like every time) he gloats forever about kicking my ass... then I challenge him to a real game of Urban Terror (Quake III Mod -- www.urbanterror.net) but he doesnt want to play.

      I feel like a robot playing an FPS on on the controller. It's the same thing as playing a racing game... you wouldn't steer your car around town with left and right BUTTONS? So why would you try an aim a gun (and move around) with just directionals?

      I'm sorry, but ever since I learned such tricks as circle-strafe and rocket-jump... I refuse to play without a mouse (and now I have "The Claw" as well)...

      I just laugh at anyone who considers themselves a serious gamer, yet those games consist of Halo, and Max Payne (for PS2)... etc...

      Blah... by the time this game comes out it will look about 50 times better with the latest GeForce 5 SUPER GTS PRO ... which will cost the same as an XBox, so if you already have a decent PC... and dont have an XBox... which are you gonna choose? Hmm ?

      I rest my case...
    • The first Turok game (I actually never played the subsequent releases so I have no idea how their controls worked) actually had the best default FPS control scheme I've ever used on a console.

      The four yellow "C" keys controlled your forward, back, and strafe, while the control stick moved your head around just like a mouse. The N64's control stick has great freedom of movement, I find the Xbox's and PS1/2 to be clunky and not very sensitive.

      I've found that messing with the button config. can help, especially if a game actually lets you reconfigure each control specifically the way you want, rather than giving you 4 or 5 "layouts", you can usually get a manageable combination.
    • With the Xbox, there is no reason to not enjoy your FPS gaming, because they give you two separate axis: one for looking (the right thumbstick), and one for moving (the left thumbstick). If you use the triggers for the most often used commands, you get the same utility as L / R on the mouse. Both sticks are also clickable on the Xbox, and the dpad and other buttons function as the rest of a limited keyboard.

      Even older systems can also be fun. I have some games on the Dreamcast that are really fun to play, even though the controls aren't exactly what I'd expect on a computer. Although I own a DC mouse and keyboard for Quake 3 :)

      Any hassle of learning the controls of a game are made up for because I'd have to do it anyways on a PC, plus I don't have to reboot or install anything or deal with drivers, etc. It Just Works (TM).
    • ... IMO, naturally.

      Why do I think this? Pretty simple, actually- on the console, you have one control interface- the control pad. Nothing else. I "grew up" on Doom and Quake, playing on my own terms- I lovved using the keyboard, and never thought to bother with the mouse. Then I played halflife on the school LAN with a bunch of FPS-whores who did pretty much nothing else, and got REAMED. I noticed all of them were using the mouse.... fat lot of good that does me! I use trackballs on my desktops and spend most of my time on a laptop... the mouse is simply not an option, and games don't control for shit with a t-pad or t-ball.

      Enter the console- all of the control is unified into one single entity, as opposed to split into two. Key commands are a hell of a lot easier to enter, you don't have to worry about your hardware being "good enough", and your wrists aren't going to explode- I've gone for upwards of 12 hours on console controllers without any kind of RTS, whereas the equivalent on a PC setup will leave me sore well into the next day.

      The only thing that blows goats about console FPS is the frigging multiplayer- for some reason game designers think it's a good idea to split the screen into quadrants, rather than push the idea of linking several systems together (a la the Jaguar or the PSX link cables). That's the one advantage FPS has on the PC- you have the screen entirely to yourself.

      And in my happy little world, I have the GAME all to myself- it's not worth the frustration of my slow reflexes getting me REAMED by some twitch-monkey who's overclocked his mouse.
    • I am right there with you... or I was until I played Halo. Sure, MGS for the PS2 is great, but it doesn't compare to a PC's FPS library. However, the controls on Halo are almost perfect - not as good as the keyboard/mouse combo, but they're very good. It's much easier to get 3 XBox's and TV's together for 6-12player CTF and not worry about game versions, people whining about slow video cards, people not knowing the controls, and hauling 6-12 computers to your house. The 4-way split also isn't as bad as I thought it's be, especially when everyone is on your team. It's incredibly fun. This being said, I've NEVER played halo against the CPU... the only reason I like it is for the multiplayer aspect.
    • *cough* don't listen to him, buy UC in November *cough*

      heh heh heh :)
  • by Brian_Ellenberger ( 308720 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @11:40PM (#4091207)
    Before someone writes that smug, self-righteous, "there have been no gameplay advances in years" post let me head them off at the pass by saying two words.

    Your wrong.

    I can't believe the incredible about of really good and *different* 3d shooters I have played in the past 3 years. They are too numerous to mention. There is Counter Strike's complete revolution of internet play (buying weapons instead of them just laying around, asymmetric goals, mission based play, etc). There is System Shock 2's and Deus Ex's mixing of shooter and RPG. There is the Thief's series and Deus Ex's use of stealth (more in the Thief series obviously but you could go through a good bit of Deus Ex w/o firing a shot). One of my favorite 3d shooters of the past couple years is Jedi Knight II which is the most immersive games I have ever played. I felt like I was a Jedi. The list goes on and on.

    So before you comment on the supposed sad state of gaming, try playing some games first.

    Brian Ellenberger
  • by ffatTony ( 63354 )

    It will be interesting to see if the PS2 also gets Doom III

  • Well, that's it. It's officially cheaper for me to buy an X-Box and Doom III for the X-Box than it will be to upgrade my current machine and buy Doom III for the PC.

    My machine is not old or creaky by any means, but looking at the hardware specs, if I really want to play Doom III, it just saves a lot of money to buy the X-Box version instead.

    Part of me wonders if that wasn't part of the plan all along.
  • Does the game's map editor still use the same executable as the actual game?
  • Xbox bound... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Perdo ( 151843 ) on Sunday August 18, 2002 @05:12AM (#4091955) Homepage Journal
    The current X-box or the next X-box???

    And if the current X-box... Absolute minimum gives the engine a lot of room to move given the difference between Quake III at low detail 640x480 and high detail at 1600x1200.

    In other words, having a low bottom end does not necessarily hold back having an insanely good top end.
    • Reading the (ONLY ONE PARAGRAPH) Press Release always helps:

      Carmack further commented that the Xbox version will have the "full graphics fidelity" of the PC version.

      And yes, this is the current XBox that we're talking about.
  • Everybody will play with the same hardware, so it really comes down to hardcore gaming skills, you cannot blaim the hardware for loosing frags (till a certain degree ofcourse because it still is an Xbox)
  • I bought a new Quake III for the Dreamcast for about $7 last week - and the DC itself is dirt cheap. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if you could buy a DC + QIII combo for only a few dollars more than the cost of this thing on the Xbox.

    Plus you can also run Linux [sourceforge.net] and lots more besides on your DC.
  • What about the linux version? (RTCW kicks ass in linux, btw...as does quake3)
  • All the recent 3d games look like everything is made of shiny plastic. The screenshots of Doom III that I've seen all look like shiny plastic. Halo looks like shiny plastic. It's only engines based on or prior to Quake II that don't suffer from this.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky