Showcasing a highly detailed environment set in desert valley--presumably a race track given the banners, flags, spectator, and vehicle--the demonstration of the new engine was said to use over 20GB of unique textures. "[Artists and developers] can go in and look at the world and, say, change the color of the mountaintop, or carve their name into the rock," said Carmack (thanks Engadget). "They can change as much as they want on surfaces with no impact on the game." According to MacRumors, Carmack also noted the demo was completed in only 10 days.
"We'll have another Mac announcement at E3," he teased.
According to an accompanying press release, id Tech 5 "practically eliminates the texture memory constraints typically placed on artists and designers and allows for the unique customization of the entire game world at the pixel level, delivering virtually unlimited visual fidelity." This then permits "vast outdoor landscapes that are completely unique to the horizon, yet have indoor environments with unprecedented artistic detail."
"Since many developers at id have made the switch to the Mac for their personal use, we decided it was now time to bring our core game technology to OS X," Carmack noted. "After a rapid bring up of the codebase, we were delighted to find that the latest Macs are the fastest systems in our offices for some of the time consuming processing jobs and will be contributing to our development process in many useful ways."
Prior to Carmack's surprise premiere of the new technology, Electronic Arts co-founder and CCO Bing Gordon had been on-stage to announce his company's renewed support of gaming on Mac OS X. This includes OS X editions of Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Battlefield 2142, Need For Speed Carbon, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this summer, followed by Madden NFL 08 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 later in the year. All of EA's Mac OS X titles will be powered by TransGaming's Cider engine.