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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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250 Replies. 13 pages. Viewing page 11.
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50. Re: id On RAGE Oct 8, 2011, 00:08 Umbragen
 
Who gives a flying fuck what Carmack says, does or thinks. I haven't bought an Id game since Quake 2, I haven't missed a fucking thing.

 
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49. Re: id On RAGE Oct 8, 2011, 00:04 Wash Washburne
 
"We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games,"

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!? Well, I just dont see how this poorly ported exude of a game is worth any of my hard earned money! Thank you for nothing, unless there is a solid demo and I mean solid, that I can test, you get nothing from me! Big F'ing NOTHING! There are other developers that deserve my money. Fuck you guys!
 
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48. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:58 Rendris
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 22:34:
Why not make the PC the leading platform - isn't it easier to DUMB DOWN the game than to make it better after it is so shitty for a console?

Makes no sense. Wish I had never bought it.

I won't buy anymore of their games after his statements.

I would say no its not easier to scale down than to scale up. When you make a design decision around a certain performance or system characteristic, the whole design revolves around that. So it would be easier to design for the lesser power system and then scale up than to make a design for a high power system and then try to make it work on something less powerful. Its like trying to make a modern game play on a Pentium 1, the results wont be good.

In this case, the "best" way to approach the console and PC issue is to have two separate engines. One for consoles and one for the PC. This way each can be tailored to fit the system better. But now your talking even more development time, more people, and a lot more money. People can cry "greed" all they want but these games are not cheap to make. You want to reach the biggest audience possible and the consoles have a huge market share. I am not a console fan but its just the way it is right now.

I think the issue here is when they started Rage's development, consoles and the PC were about equal in performance. But obviously PC will always out scale consoles faster.Just a shame really. I have yet to finish the game but I don't feel its as bad as everyone is claiming. Its different.

 
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47. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:57 ^Drag0n^
 
PHJF wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:32:
Wasn't he just quoted saying "In the future we will design for the PC and shave things off for the consoles"?

This... kind of sounds like the opposite.

That was from an interview last summer. Apparently he changed his stance.

While I'm saddened by what he says, it's really no surprise. I'm not sure if id is a company that can have the same impact on consoles as on the PC; people there care even less about the hooplah tied to a new engine; as a whole, the console market is a market of ADD hamsters on meth. It's not "what are you playing?", it's "what are you playing next?"

This comment was edited on Oct 8, 2011, 00:08.
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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46. Re: id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms Oct 7, 2011, 23:55 theyarecomingforyou
 
The idea that the AMD drivers that id Software were testing the game with were fine is just silly. The release date was well known by both parties and the issues with the public drivers were well known, so surely there should have been some coordination? It makes absolutely no sense for this situation, as both RAGE and AMD are tarnished by it. And the Crossfire drivers are still a week away, when most games ship with them.

Anyway, the technical issues have actually done id a favour, as otherwise they'd be talking about the terrible design decisions:
1) Invisible walls everywhere
2) Can't pick up weapons from dead people - they fade away
3) Dozens of inviting doors but maybe 1% can actually be opened
4) Accepting a mission skips character dialogue, breaking immersion
5) Terrible auto-save system
6) In game text pop-ups telling you stuff, even telling you to save regularly
7) Enemies using the same animations, to the point where they die on top of each other in the same pose
8) Horrible vehicle physics (Borderlands was much better)

More annoying is that just months ago Carmack was interviewed and stated that they should have put more of an emphasis on the PC version and that they'd be changing their design process to accommodate that. Now that all the initial sales have died down he reveals the truth. Surprise, surprise.
 
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SteamID: theyarecomingforyou
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45. Re: id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms Oct 7, 2011, 23:52 Doombringer
 
Wow. This guy is a titan of the industry, and he basically took a dump on PC gamers everywhere. Nice. As if the buggy RAGE wasn't already a thumbed-nose.

Never forget your roots, John. They're what bought you those Ferraris and got you where you are today, after all.
 
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44. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:50 gilly775
 
I still find it funny that fingers are being pointed at AMD/NVidia for poor driver support by id, yet id/Bethesda let the game ship before VERIFYING that whatever drivers that had to code the game were good enough and available to the masses. But I guess that's what some people do when you decide to choose the console as the lead development platform....  
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43. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:46 Jerykk
 
Graphics can go much further. The problem is, unexplored ideas in graphics are largely about nuance and making a believable simulation, which is something no one is interested in doing; you can't put "better immersion" as a bullet point on the box the same way you can't put anti-aliasing there, so it never gets done.

I disagree. The majority of graphical advancements over the past few years have been relatively subtle. HDR, tessellation, ambient occlusion, parallax occlusion mapping, etc, are all pretty subtle improvements that, when used properly, can really make a scene more immersive.
 
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42. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:41 DNForever
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:33:
DNForever wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:26:
Once you get over that, anything Carmack or Newell or whoever says, is here nor there.
I won't deny that. I will however say it is disappointing to see Carmack in that group. He more than most seemed to be "on the side of PC gaming" and clearly made his millions there. He has no need to cater to anyone else personally, but has done so anyway. Oh and yes, I realize this isn't breaking news... but it is disappointing none the less.

I agree, it is disappointing and hopefully they'll never totally drop the PC as a platform, but there are plenty other companies who will be happy to develop good PC games (Eidos Montreal, Crytek Frankfurt?)
 
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41. Re: id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms Oct 7, 2011, 23:38 Dr. D. Schreber
 
Being someone who's never understood the appeal of id games regardless of the effect Wolfenstein and Doom had on the industry, all I can think about this is, "Where is your god now, mwahahahahahah!"


DNForever wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:26:
how much further can graphics go?

Graphics can go much further. The problem is, unexplored ideas in graphics are largely about nuance and making a believable simulation, which is something no one is interested in doing; you can't put "better immersion" as a bullet point on the box the same way you can't put anti-aliasing there, so it never gets done.
 
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NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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40. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:34 rist3903
 
We do not see id as a leading designer for games.  
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39. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:33 Jerykk
 
While I'm not happy to hear what he has to say in this particular case, at least Carmack is blunt and straight to the point. Most devs will lie and say that all platforms receive equal focus and other such nonsense.

ATI LIVES by its reputation on the PC.

Sadly, ATI has a reputation for crappy drivers, especially if you use Crossfire. Their Crossfire support is terrible. You often have to wait weeks or even months for Crossfire support to be added or fixed in the latest games. Even when it's "fixed," that fix sometimes just involves disabling Crossfire entirely. Same applies to anti-aliasing. I find it perfectly believable that ATI screwed up this time.

This comment was edited on Oct 7, 2011, 23:42.
 
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38. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:33 Mr. Tact
 
DNForever wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:26:
Once you get over that, anything Carmack or Newell or whoever says, is here nor there.
I won't deny that. I will however say it is disappointing to see Carmack in that group. He more than most seemed to be "on the side of PC gaming" and clearly made his millions there. He has no need to cater to anyone else personally, but has done so anyway. Oh and yes, I realize this isn't breaking news... but it is disappointing none the less.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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37. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:32 PHJF
 
Wasn't he just quoted saying "In the future we will design for the PC and shave things off for the consoles"?

This... kind of sounds like the opposite.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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36. Re: id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms Oct 7, 2011, 23:32 ^Drag0n^
 
Reading Creston's experience with ATI makes me really glad I stuck with nvidia

(sorry man <g> )
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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35. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:31 Teddy
 
Elricsi wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:00:
Teddy wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 22:46:
"We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games"

Translation: We'll release it on PC and charge as much as we possibly can for it, but we don't really care if it works.

Fuck you too, Carmack. Fuck you too.

That is the feeling I got from the quote too. (And I agree it is smart to design for the consoles first and foremost on action games.)

But I want to see if they really go ahead and release some HD levels for PC only, and I will be happy with that.

P.S. General consensus seems to be that the shooter gameplay is meh, but vehicles are suprising fun. I hope they focus their DLC efforts on the vehicle stuff.

I certainly agree from a business standpoint that consoles should generally be the lead platform for most games these days. That said, it's not an excuse for your title to be an appalling pile of shit on any other platform. If you decided to release it for platform X and you plan on asking people for $60+ for the game on that platform, then you make fucking sure it works at least on a reasonable level of quality and stability.
 
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34. Re: id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms Oct 7, 2011, 23:28 Esoteric
 
It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you make a shitty port of a mediocre game for PC, yeah, it's not going to sell that well. Especially if you get the reputation of doing this in general. There are still some companies that make PC games and make a lot of PROFIT off of PC gamers.  
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33. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:26 DNForever
 
News flash: these guys don't at ALL care about you.

Once you get over that, anything Carmack or Newell or whoever says, is here nor there. It's just businessman talk. They're business people, in it mainly to make money. Consoles mean more money, so they gear games to the consoles. However I totally agree with what he said about technology vs. development. We are without question at the point of diminshing returns for game engines - how much further can graphics go? Is there a game you could do on id Tech 4 that wouldn't work on id Tech 5? Rage features the most story id has ever put into a game, and even then it's just a bunch of people telling you to run errands. But who cares, I kind of like it. I like the races and all that. It's a pretty fun game. I've had no problems on my machine (GTX 560 Ti), but I did just build it 6 months ago.

I'm usually playing 2 games, and nearing the end of DXHR it's like No Country For Old Men, and Rage is like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

 
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32. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:26 Creston
 
swaaye wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:18:
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:11:
It's id's job to ensure that their brand new engine works properly and if that requires special driver considerations, it's their responsibility to contact NVIDIA and ATI and get that done before the game comes out. If they called these companies and said "John Carmack would like to talk to you to make sure id Tech 5 works with your cards", they'd probably have their lead drivers engineers on the phone with him instantly.

My understanding is id Software was in contact with AMD months ago and they did work things out but then AMD fucked up and didn't deliver. NVIDIA drivers work fine, even older ones.

This isn't even anything new with AMD/ATI. Doom3 on Radeons was subpar too. They have some sort of total lack of interest in being aggresive with their OpenGL. NVIDIA owns them in the professional world because of it and occasionally we see it rear its head in gaming. It probably doesn't help that there is major upheaval over there and they seem to be slowly imploding on every front.

Here's my big problem with the "ATI just fucked up" scenario. Rage is a huge game release, and for them to have massive issues while Nvidia has (relatively) few is a big black eye. So are they really fucking up? Did they really just forget about the changes they needed to make for Carmack's Tech5 engine, and then release two (or three, depending on how you look at it) shitty drivers in a row, just because they can't be bothered?

ATI LIVES by its reputation on the PC.

Then on the other side we have id, who have basically all but said "Fuck the PC. Consoles, baby!" What do they care if their game runs like shit on the PC? Carmack just happily blames ATI and Nvidia and we've yet to hear anything about a patch or whatever, other than a statement from the PR guy from BETHESDA saying "Hey, it's being worked on."

So who fucked up? AMD/ATI? Or did Carmack make changes in his engine and then never notified AMD/ATI of those changes, leaving them to play catch-up? It's all speculation either way, but I wouldn't be so quick to hold id blameless.

That said, I do agree that ATI's OpenGL drivers have usually been big piles of shit. I remember how much fun it was to have an ATI card when KOTOR was released, and people had to try and find an old ATI driver and extract the atiogl.dll file from it just to get it to fucking run.

Creston
 
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31. Re: id On RAGE Oct 7, 2011, 23:18 swaaye
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Oct 7, 2011, 23:11:
It's id's job to ensure that their brand new engine works properly and if that requires special driver considerations, it's their responsibility to contact NVIDIA and ATI and get that done before the game comes out. If they called these companies and said "John Carmack would like to talk to you to make sure id Tech 5 works with your cards", they'd probably have their lead drivers engineers on the phone with him instantly.

My understanding is id Software was in contact with AMD months ago and they did work things out but then AMD fucked up and didn't deliver. NVIDIA drivers work fine, even older ones. JC actually spoke somewhat about the AMD efforts during his super long sit down talk at Quakecon.

This isn't even anything new with AMD/ATI. They have some sort of total lack of interest in being aggressive with their OpenGL devel. NVIDIA owns them in the professional world because of it and occasionally we see it rear its head in gaming. It probably doesn't help that there is major upheaval over there and they seem to be slowly imploding on every front.
 
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250 Replies. 13 pages. Viewing page 11.
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