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id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms

Kotaku asks the musical question "Why Was The PC Launch of Rage Such A "Cluster!@#$"?," getting answers from id on the topic, who express frustration with problems that were largely caused by driver issues. Along the way they also address how the game being designed for consoles holds back the PC edition. "You can choose to design a game around the specs of a high-end PC and make console versions that fail to hit the design point, or design around the specs of the consoles and have a high-end PC provide incremental quality improvements," John Carmack tells them. "We chose the latter." He also bluntly addresses why this makes sense for id (emphasis Kotaku's):

"We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games," Carmack added. "That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version. A high end PC is nearly 10 times as powerful as a console, and we could unquestionably provide a better experience if we chose that as our design point and we were able to expend the same amount of resources on it. Nowadays most of the quality of a game comes from the development effort put into it, not the technology it runs on. A game built with a tenth the resources on a platform 10 times as powerful would be an inferior product in almost all cases."

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235. Re: id On RAGE Oct 9, 2011, 13:48 Beamer
 
yuastnav wrote on Oct 9, 2011, 12:22:
id is quite a tech-savvy company (or at least was) so it's surprising.

I haven't played, but I'd guess the problem is two-fold:
1) id has zero experience in developer for the console and porting to the PC. This leads to a poorly made port. This is a brand new idea to them
2) Carmack is a perfectionist and very curious. He repeatedly said that he enjoyed programming for consoles because you can really, really get to the hardware in ways not possible on the PC. So he coded Rage very specifically for the two sets of hardware consoles offer.

These kind of lead to each other. The fact that Rage seems so closely and deeply tied to consoles in a way that other developers don't seem to have reached just made the port harder.
From what I understand this is probably the best looking game on consoles by quite a bit (I have not seen it nor looked into this, just what I've heard.) So Carmack really pushed them far. But he left PCs way back behind. Porting something so closely tied to consoles to PCs means ripping an enormous amount of it apart.
 
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