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.
“We were quite happy with the performance improvements that we had made on AMD hardware in the months before launch," he said. We had made significant internal changes to cater to what AMD engineers said would allow the highest performance with their driver and hardware architectures, and we went back and forth with custom extensions and driver versions."
“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. When launch day came around and the wrong driver got released, half of our PC customers got a product that basically didn't work. The fact that the working driver has incompatibilities with other titles doesn't help either."
He even went on to call the whole thing a clusterf-- well, you know. Ultimately, though, Carmack doesn't believe the incident justifies a return to PC-first game development. He's nothing if not a realist, and he believes times have changed.
“We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games," he explained. "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.”
Well then, someone who's never shown up anyway just got uninvited to my birthday party.