The fury over Oculus VR’s acquisition by social media giant Facebook seems to have fallen to a low simmer as the raw emotion has a chance to cool. Another factor: we don’t really have any more information now than we did the day after the news broke. Aside from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s increasingly futile defense on reddit, no one inside the deal has spoken up. Now, development legend John Carmack, who famously left his position at Id software to work as Oculus’s chief technology officer, has spoken up for the first time.
Three days after Oculus announced that it was being purchased by Facebook for $2 billion, the VR company has hired programmer Michael Abrash, who has worked at Valve since 2011. Abrash has been working on Valve's virtual reality technology for the last couple years, and regularly posts deep technical discussions of VR on his blog. Abrash is joining Oculus as Chief Scientist, and in his introductory post on Oculus' website, he cites the Facebook acquisition--and Facebook's deep pockets--as "the final piece of the puzzle" necessary for VR to achieve greatness.
It's safe to say that Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey was exhausted when we sat down at last week's International CES to chat. He'd been in town for eight days, talking to the press and showing the newest Oculus Rift prototype, dubbed "Crystal Cove." The newest headset uses 360 degree positional tracking and low persistence motion blur tech to essentially keep wimps like me from vomiting during use. But even though he was wiped, Luckey still took a few moments to talk to me about the promise of VR for videogames and beyond, the rumors of John Carmack making an Oculus Rift game, and his thoughts PC gaming moving to the living room.
id Software co-founder and master of Doom John Carmack is one of the brightest minds in the industry, which is why we were excited to learn he had joined Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles. Aside from the impressive demos of the device, nothing lent the company as much legitimacy as his coming on board as chief technical officer.
Oculus VR, the company that's developing the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles you want for Christmas, has secured another $75 million in Series B funding. This is in addition to the $16 million it raised in Series A in June, which it must have placed on top of the $2.4 million pile of cash it raised in the initial Kickstarter campaign.
Id Software co-founder John Carmack has resigned from the company, according to a statement released to PC Gamer. Known for his influential work on games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake, Carmack will presumably focus more on his role at Oculus VR, the company he joined in August as chief technology officer.
News and rumors are still buzzing around Valve’s battle for your living room. Developers from all walks of life have shared their thoughts on Valve’s flurry of announcements, and now Oculus Rift Chief Technology Officer and id Software co-founder John Carmack has entered the fray, discussing how SteamOS devices might benefit from AMD's new graphics technology.
Update: Bethesda and Id have clarified the situation in a statement to Kotaku: "John will spend time working out of Oculus as part of his role with them, but he will also continue to work at id."
Original: Oculus VR - creators of the magical Oculus Rift face goggles - have just announced that Id's John Carmack will serve as their new chief technical officer. It's a good fit for the programming genius, not least because the Rift isn't, as I like to assume, powered by pixie dust and wishes.
John Carmack, co-founder and technical director of id Software, gave a wide-ranging and detailed talk at QuakeCon 2013 in Dallas yesterday, addressing a series of issues that affect developers and consumers in the gaming industry. Well-known for his work on games like Doom, Quake and Rage, of particular interest were Carmack's comments on display technology and the way in which it may affect next-generation hardware like head-mounted displays.
President Todd Hollenshead has left id Software, according to Bethesda. Hollenshead was well-known as part of the id team since 1996, where he worked alongside John Carmack, and as the long-haired MC of Quakecon in Dallas.
While you could sum up Valve's plans for Linux compatibility as "full Steam ahead," it seems that not everyone is as sold on the OS's role in mainstream gaming. Yesterday, John Carmack questioned the wisdom of development studios working to make their games run natively in Linux. He tweeted, "Improving Wine for Linux gaming seems like a better plan than lobbying individual game developers for native ports. Why the hate?"
Carmack later expanded on his comments in a thread on Reddit's r/Linux, saying, "I don’t think that a good business case can be made for officially supporting Linux for mainstream games today."
The Oculus Rift is the most exciting peripheral I’ve ever used. This is the virtual reality headset I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little boy; true future tech that will redefine what it means to play games.
I got to demo it running Doom BFG at this year’s Gamescom. Even better, the kind chaps at Oculus let us film the wondrous thing in action, so you get to share in me looking silly but having a truly joyous gaming experience. Click through for the video.
Remember that virtual reality headset that John Carmack demoed at E3 this year? It's called the Oculus, and according to a forum post spotted by Ausgamers from its designer, Palmer Luckey, a Kickstarter campaign will start very soon, giving early adopters a chance to snap up some of the first units.
The campaign was due to run in June, but the new date will mean the 30 day donation period will cover QuakeCon and Gamescom. The headset will be demoed at both. Luckey also mentions that he's speaking to Valve, id/Bethesda, Crytek, Epic and Unity about potential partnerships.
The Doom 3 source code has been released and is available now on Github. According to John Carmack's Twitter feed, the source code was delayed when lawyers had a bit of a wobble over some patent problems. With the addition of a few lines of code and the tweaking of a few more, the release was good to go. Releasing source code is a bit of a risky move, and takes time and money to do, so it's heartening to see id dishing out the data for free. Indie devs and code enthusiasts, go forth and conquer!
Attention indie devs and modders! John Carmack has tweeted to say that id are releasing the full source Doom 3 source code to anyone who fancies downloading it and having a poke. The news, spotted on RPS, puts id Tech 4 in the hands of game makers looking for some free tech to play with. “Doom 3 source is packaged and tested, we are waiting on final lawyer clearance for release,” Tweeted Carmack. No news on how long exactly that will take. To all the budding devs who will be downloading the new code, please, for the love of our eyes, use more lights than id did in Doom 3.
On Saturday a massive patch landed for Rage, eagerly awaited by players struggling with blurry, popping textures, low framerates, psychedelic artefacts and more. The mess of a PC launch has been so severe that John Carmack referred to it as "a real cluster !@#$" in a written statement to Kotaku, and attributed the problems to the release of incorrect drivers by AMD and Nvidia.
"When launch day came around and the wrong driver got released, half of our PC customers got a product that basically didn't work," Carmack wrote, adding "we knew that all older AMD drivers, and some Nvidia drivers would have problems with the game, but we were running well in-house on all of our test systems."
This weekend a huge patch hit, adding workarounds and tweaks to counter the most severe crashes. A number of graphical options have been added to the menu as well, letting players take over from the auto-detection system that was supposed to automatically tweak Rage's options to help it run as close to 60 fps as possible. Players can now alter V-sync, Anisotropic filter and texture cache settings manually.
RAGE - bless its scorched, probably irradiated post-apocalyptic heart - didn't exactly have the smoothest launch on PC. Turns out, though, that this wasn't a "how the mighty have fallen" situation for a once notoriously PC-only developer. The car-centric shooter was, in fact, undone by drivers that just couldn't keep up.
Resident tech guru John Carmack, however, insists that id believed it'd BFG-blasted this particular issue off the face of the earth. It did not, he told Kotaku, release an "unfinished" game component on purpose.
id founder John Carmack has been talking to Industry Gamers about the success of mainstream shooters like Call of Duty. He defends the series, saying "As long as people are buying it, it means they’re enjoying it," and criticises the "snooty attitude" of indie developers who criticise the lack of innovation in the military squad shooter format. "It’s almost as if it’s popular, it’s not good. And that’s just not true," he says.
The latest developer diary for Rage takes a behind the scenes look at id studios as they work on the finishing touches to Rage. Id stalwarts John Carmack and Tim Willets discuss the merits of running a shooter at 60 frames per second, and talk about the megatexture technology, which allows artists to customise every inch of the game world, resulting in less repetitive environments.
You can get a closer look at those environments in the latest Rage screenshots, and find out why Rage will run better on PC. The game's out in the US on October 4 and in Europe on October 7.