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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Rage and the Tech Behind id Tech 5 172

MojoKid writes "id Software's long-awaited FPS, Rage, is set to ship in October. When it launches, Rage will be the first game to feature id's newest graphics engine, dubbed id Tech 5. id Tech 5 has evolved considerably since the company started talking about it four years ago, however. While it contains a number of additional features, MegaTexturing remains one of the game's most visible advances. MegaTexturing uses a single large texture to map the terrain of an entire area. Data from that texture is streamed in depending on where the player is standing and what's visible. Effects that would normally be blended in traditional tiled texturing can be baked into the megatexture and streamed off disc when needed. The advantage of megatexturing is that it allows artists to create unique environments rather than resorting to a variety of tricks to hide repetitive texture tiles." id's Tim Willits spoke with Eurogamer about Rage's development, explaining how their goal of fast-paced action dictated certain design decisions. Rage will make use of Steamworks, but won't require a persistent connection for offline play. However, small parts of optional single-player content will only be available to players who buy the game new. Willits said, "Most people never find them. But as soon as you do, you're like, oh. And then you start to look for it. That's our first-time buyer incentive."
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Rage and the Tech Behind id Tech 5

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  • Re:iPad (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:18PM (#37122128)

    Wrong. There is an iOS version. See the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rage_(video_game) [wikipedia.org]

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:20PM (#37122152)

    This is a Tech Demo for the engine. Just like DOOM3 was. Id does not really make amazing games. They make amazing engines and decent games as tech demos for the engines.

  • Re:iPad (Score:4, Informative)

    by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:21PM (#37122154)
    You do realize that they're not the same game at all, and that the phone version was made just for phones, right?
  • Also iD Tech 4 blows (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:49PM (#37122460)

    One of the big things with previous iD games is their engines were amazing. They were some of the best things you'd ever seen. Good looking, ran well, etc, etc.

    Then we get Doom 3. While the realtime lighting was nifty, after you played a bit it got annoying because everything was overly dark since there was no radiosity or other global illumination. It was also extremely resource intensive, you had to have a really hot computer to run it. Compared to Unreal Engine 2.5, it really wasn't that great. UE 2.5 looked nicer over all, despite not being as "advanced" and scaled much better.

    Of course they've then been stuck on that for a long time. UE3 came out and was a far better engine, and we are now on UE3.5, and still nothing new from iD yet. iD Tech 4 has not aged gracefully at all. Brink is a wonderful example. Never mind the gameplay problems, it just doesn't look very good and doesn't run well given how it looks because of the engine.

    You can see it in terms of licenses too. iD Tech 4 has a total of 6 games out, almost all of them either iD themselves, or Raven (who has always liked to make games using iD's stuff). UE3 has near 200, and it was released later.

    We'll see how iD Tech 5 does.

  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @04:08PM (#37122682)

    I recall people saying it pales in comparison to any modern game engine, and in fact doesn't even hold up against Source, which is now 7 years old.

    Source is iteratively updated. There have been at least 8 major versions of Source, although I'm not going to list the changes to each one.

    • Original. Launched with HL2. No longer in use by any Valve games. Client is Windows only.
    • Episode 1. Launched with HL2: Episode 1. Currently used by Half-Life: Source and Half-Life: Source Deathmatch. Client is Windows only. Server is Windows and Linux.
    • Orange Box. Launched with HL2: Episode 2. Currently used by Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and Portal. Client is Windows and Mac.
    • Orange Box 2009. A fork of Orange Box for multiplayer games. Currently used by Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Day of Defeat: Source, Counter-Strike: Source, and Team Fortress 2. Client is Windows and Mac. Server is Windows, Mac, and Linux.
    • Left 4 Dead. Currently used by Left 4 Dead. Client is Windows and Mac. Server is Windows, Mac, and Linux.
    • Left 4 Dead 2. Currently used by Left 4 Dead 2. Client is Windows and Mac. Server is Windows, Mac, and Linux.
    • Alien Swam. Currently used by Alien Swarm. Client is Windows. Server is Windows.
    • Portal 2. Currently used by Portal 2. Client is Windows and Mac. No standalone server.
  • Re:No custom maps (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jonner ( 189691 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @04:16PM (#37122760)

    Isn't that jumping the gun just a little bit? Have you seen any statements from id that custom maps will be impossible? Don't you think they would put some sort of effort into making their games easy to make content for?

    This interview with Carmack [pcper.com]:

    For modders, Carmack stated that they were going to release the 64-bit version of tools though there is going to be a limit to what people can do with it because there is a lot of infrastructure involved with the mega-textured worlds. Expect to build new gaming characteristics and multiplayer modes, but not much more than that for now. Keeping in mind there is over a 1TB of source material to build RAGE, they can’t possibly put that all up for download.

  • Re:No custom maps (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @04:19PM (#37122790)

    He said it three times... I just listened to this last week, so it was still fresh, and relatively easy to find. :-) Here is a partial transcript. In-Joy!

    @42:36 One of the things that we were doing in our production side of things for cranking out our build games to rebuild all the games.
    @42:44 when we build our virtual textures for the dynamic stuff, it is this process that
    @42: 49 at one point it just took hours. I rewrote it to be such a way that it used huge amounts of memory mapped files and it got down much much faster
    @42:59 but it really started swapping on any system that we had.
    @43:02 So we said "Well let's find out what the actual limitations here are."
    @43:07 So we took one of our servers and we put 192 gigabytes of ram in it
    @43:12 And it, so [it] was like $5000. We used to spend more then $5000 on a desktop PC. You know we had $10,000 workstations back in the day.
    @43:22 But 192 _gigabytes_ of ram. And, I think back, OK 128 _bytes_ of RAM in the Atari 2600; 192 _gigabytes_ of RAM being used to build this. You know, greater then a factor of a billion. Now that is stretching from before my time to a server grade system here. That is 9 order of magnitude.

  • I don't like DRM... (Score:5, Informative)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @05:06PM (#37123278) Journal

    ...but I do like Steam.

    sorry but i rather not be treated as a pirate first and a customer second.

    You say that, but you then admit a few things Steam does, which you just don't care about:

    i did not want to trade being treated well as a customer for the 'oh shiny' aspect of being able to piss off my isp for downloading multi-gig games and a in game chat function with other people playing other games.

    Well, I do like those things, except my current ISP doesn't suck.

    I like being able to buy a game, go do something for 15 minutes, and then have it ready to play, without having to leave the house. At the moment (for the next few days, at least), I'm in a small enough town that the only other real option is buying discs from, say, Wall-Mart -- which isn't exactly convenient, considering I'd then need to do some research and find out if I need to keep the disc around, how I can make backups of that game, etc.

    I like being able to buy a new computer, type my Steam username and password, and within a few hours, have all the games I care about installed -- and, surprisingly, with my savegames, keybindings, and other settings included.

    I like being able to message a friend, in or out of game, and just jump into whatever game they're playing (assuming we both own the same game), or invite them into mine. For that matter, I like that the Steam dashboard seems to apply to most Steam games, even the ones which (thanks, EA) try to get me to sign up for their own competing service -- I can instantly pull that up and see the current time, a web browser, etc. I can click a player's name from an in-game menu and have it pop the browser open to their Steam profile. All this without alt-tabbing, in a nice translucent overlay so I can see what's happening in-game.

    I like that all my games stay patched without me having to check them individually, and I've known Steam to even bother me to update my video drivers occasionally. If I could do everything through a similar package manager (like Windows Update, maybe), I would, but better a unified platform like Steam than each game adding something to my system tray, or having to check each game's website for updates.

    If I can find a game without DRM, I'll buy it over Steam any day -- but, surprisingly, the Humble Indie Bundle included Steam activation anyway. If a game includes extra DRM on top of Steam, I won't buy it, which means I still have to pay attention -- I was a hair away from buying Arkham Asylum when I realized it had SecuROM on top of Steam -- and I think Steam itself warned me about this. Most of the time, I'll stick to indie games with Linux ports.

    But Portal 2 was one of the best games I've ever played, and I'm not going to miss out on that experience because I can't play it on Linux, or... wait, is there anything else I actually want to do with a game that Steam prevents me from doing?

    Sadly though this also means that the release of the doom3 source code will most likely be the last time id releases their engine source code to the community. like it or not steam is a drm platform first and foremost.

    Bullshit. Again, the Humble Indie Bundle (at least the latest one) includes Steam activation codes. If you remember, almost all of the original Humble Indie Bundle games released their source. For that matter, you can buy Quake 3 Arena on Steam, and its source is released -- and I seem to remember that id games have included things like CD checks in the past. I much prefer Steam to putting a CD in the drive every time I play -- I've got a terabyte hard drive in my gaming rig, there's no excuse for that.

    So by tying in steam into id tech 5 means that the release of the source code will be a no go because it might allow others to de-steam other titles easier.

    If so, why wouldn't they have the same problem have existed with other engines? Quake 4 shipped with a CD check

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @08:46PM (#37125008)

    I've had to correct your comments on the issue before; obviously you have forgotten the reason why UE3 has 200 odd game licenses - because they're actually licensing their engine. Guess who isn't..... they simply don't want to spend the time dealing with technical support and business matters.

    The engine holds up fine with the right artwork, but Brink wasn't really an artistic masterpiece so much as an underdone attempt to grab back a share of the online player community. Plenty of Doom 3 mods have outdone it there visually.

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