John Carmack and Next Gen Games Engines

By on February 2, 2011

John Carmack is one of the “Gods” of the gaming industry. The Co-founder of iD Software has offered us some amazing game engines that were behind a lot of games. Well, at least in the past, since nowadays Epic Games has catched up and surpassed them with the Unreal 3 Engine.

In all these years, Carmack was pushing the graphics boundaries to higher standards. But with this generation of consoles, the great master decided to take a step back. Instead of pushing the boundaries to new levels, he is now balancing things and focusing on the next gen of consoles.

Here are his thoughts in a recent interview with Bethesda Blog.

In the old days, there was a clear set of milestones that were ticked off with each new generation – 3D perspective, texture mapping, 6DOF, polygonal characters, colored lighting, shadows, etc. In between major changes, there is always the push for more; more colors, more pixels, more triangles, more frames per second, and more depth complexity.

Games today look incredible, and there are few things that we can’t do a pretty good job of rendering with the available techniques, so it is much more a question of balancing and trading off the development process against the fidelity of the product. We have to be reactive to hardware trends, and there are still large bodies of work in the offline rendering world to consider, but I don’t feel huge pressure to radically rework our graphics architecture right now.

Still, I have done a fair amount of research work this year to help clarify our next generation directions, but so far they have mostly been negative results – I know we won’t be rendering with a triangle intersection ray tracer on the next gen, for instance. I have a couple more research projects to undertake in the coming year, but the technical work I am most excited about doesn’t have anything to do with graphics, but instead with the data management and work flow through the development process.

About David Scarpitta

I am a critical guy, and love to review and give my professional opinion on just about anything. Though have a love for tech/gaming and music alongside the cinema. You can catch me consulting and developing the net any day of the week.