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Carmack on Crysis

Carmack frees Quake on GamesRadar is a Q&A with the id Software Technical Director about Quake Live, id's upcoming free shooter (thanks Voodoo Extreme). Along the way he offers thoughts on Crysis, expressing an interesting perspective from someone who has spent so much time exploring the cutting edge of game engine technology:

Obviously, we have examples like World of Warcraft that show how the PC can be viable and vibrant in its own way. But in terms of first-person shooters, if you look at something like Crysis and say thatís the height of what the PC market can manage, I donít think thatís necessarily that exciting of a direction for the PC to be going in the future. With Quake Live, we hope that thereís an opportunity for people whoíve never played shooters to give this a try, and with that, the potential of actually growing the PC gaming market. I still have a lot of a faith in simple gameplay formulas - it might not be the game that everyone plays for three hours a day to be the best at, but itís something that offices, dorms, and schools across America can have fun with.

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38. Re: No subject Jun 4, 2008, 14:58 DG
DOOM3, both the game and the engine, were flops* but it's telling that he was still able to invent an upgrade and completely turn around it's biggest technical weakness (the megatexture for big open areas).

He's also doing more to keep PC gaming going than perhaps anyone other than Valve. Fundamentally Steam is an attempt to combat piracy by competing with it instead of simply trying to make piracy more difficult.

id Tech 5 meanwhile combats the threat from consoles by having a engine that is relatively platform-agnostic: the incremental cost of a PC version should be so low that it's a no-brainer. It also means that PC is part of the picture from the beginning, not done as an afterthought console back port released 6/12 months later.

Q3Z is another attempt to keep "our" kind of PC games going, an experiment to determine if it can work on the absolutely thriving web game model.

OK, so possibly Tech 5 may turn out to suck, the miss with DOOM3 makes it easy to be pessimistic. But I'll give him kudos for seeing the big picture and trying. What are most of the other big devs doing? Moving to consoles, quietly and alarmingly often, very loudly.

Sure, some really great PC-only games would be more welcome, and may do more to boost PC gaming. But my impression is that it's getting incredibly hard to get anything green lit if it's primarily for the PC. A game that's developed with the PC as joint-primary platform, purchased over Steam is to me far more appealing than a back-ported console game infected with SecuROM.

* It's quite plausable it still made money but I'd be highly surprised if the hit on the id brand didn't greatly outweigh that.

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