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False Detector

More Carmack quotes

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This batch of comments from me have let people draw conclusions that leave me scratching me head wondering how they managed to get from what I said to what they heard.

Other people have outlined the issues in detail in comments already, but the crux is that, even with driver quality removed from the discussion (not counting conformance issues, running at fill limited resolutions), GF4 hardware is still faster than 8500 hardware on basically everything I tested. The 8500 SHOULD have been faster on paper, but isn't in real life.

The hardware we used at E3 was not an 8500, and while the drivers were still a bit raw, the performance was very good indeed.

Take with a grain of salt any comment from me that has been paraphrased, but if it is an actual in-context quote from email, I try very hard to be precise in my statements. Read carefully.

John Carmack


We know for sure that we will be excluding some of the game buying public with fairly stiff hardware requirements, but we still think it is the right thing to do.

The requirement for GF1/Radeon 7500 as an absolute minimum is fundamental to the way the technology works, and was non-negotiable for the advances that I wanted to make. At the very beginning of development, I worked a bit on elaborate schemes to try and get some level of compatibility with Voodoo / TNT / Rage128 class hardware, but it would have looked like crap, and I decided it wasn't worth it.

The comfortable minimum performance level on this class of hardware is determined by what the artists and level designers produce. It would be possible to carefully craft a DOOM engine game that ran at good speed on an original SDR GF1, but it would cramp the artistic freedom of the designers a lot as they worried more about performance than aesthetics and gameplay.

Our "full impact" platform from the beginning has been targeted at GF3/Xbox level hardware. Slower hardware can disable features, and faster hardware gets higher frame rates and rendering quality. Even at this target, designers need to be more cognizant of performance than they were with Q3, and we expect some licensee to take an even more aggressive performance stance for games shipping in following years.

Games using the new engine will be on shelves FIVEYEARS (or more) after the initial design decisions were made. We had a couple licensees make two generations of products with the Q3 engine, and we expect that to hold true for DOOM as well. The hardware-only decision for Q3 was controversial at the time, but I feel it clearly turned out to be correct. I am confident the target for DOOM will also be seen as correct once there is a little perspective on it.

Unrelated linux note: yes, there will almost certainly be a linux binary for the game. It will probably only work on the nvidia drivers initially, but I will assist any project attempting to get the necessary driver support on on other cards.

John Carmack

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