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Carmack: PC "A Unique Platform"

There's a John Carmack Q&A on Computer and Video Games talking about Quake Live and related topics in an interview that also gets responses from id executive producer Marty Stratton. No conversation with the id Software Technical Director is complete these days without asking his thoughts on the uncertain state of PC gaming, and this one prompts an answer saying that developers need to appreciate "the PC as a unique platform rather than a gaming machine that happens to be in your den rather than your living room." He goes on to explain: "The traditional big-budget, media-rich, single-player type games like we used to make at id Software through to Doom 3, all that really has to be done cross-platform on the consoles now, to basically cover the development expenses for something like that. But the PC still has huge success stories, with things like The Sims 2 and World of Warcraft, which have been bigger successes than any console game has ever been, or possibly ever could be in the near future. At the end of the day, you have to look at the PC as a platform with its own strengths and weaknesses."

22. Re: --- Sep 8, 2008, 01:04 Jerykk
What isn't fair though, is making a mutiplatform game specifically for console, then porting it to PC later. It should be vice versa, considering it's easier to dumb down things like menus, texture sizes and interfaces rather then add and improve them at the end.

No, it's not easier to dumb things down. What's easier is to make things dumb to begin with and then just port them over the PC with minor changes. Trying to port Deus Ex or SS2 over to a console would be hell, as you'd have to completely rework the interface to make it both readable on a TV and functional with a gamepad. Porting complex PC games which require many keys (space sims, flight sims, mech sims, RTS, etc) to a console requires that you remap those keys to a controller with 10 buttons. Then you have the internal hardware aspect to consider. Designing a PC game that requires at least 1 gig of RAM and then trying to port that over to a console with only half that much is very, very difficult. Then you also have to consider the much slower read speeds and limited capacity of DVD media.

Simply put, porting a console game to the PC is much, much easier than porting a PC game to a console. That is why, in this age of multiplatform development, PC is almost never the lead platform.

This comment was edited on Sep 8, 01:05.
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  4. Sep 7, 15:23 Fuck you Carmack Creston
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  13. Sep 7, 17:50    Re: Fuck you Carmack Nuclear Watchdog
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  21. Sep 8, 00:21       --- siapnar
>> 22. Sep 8, 01:04        Re: --- Jerykk
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