id Cautious on Licensing of New Graphics Engine

As the completion of id Software's engine "id Tech 5" nears, the company is planning a conservative strategy in licensing the graphics technology to other companies. "Our philosophy really hasn't changed from what it's always been, which is games first, licenses second," said id CEO Todd Hollenshead to Gamasutra. "Working on Rage and working on Doom [4], which are both id Tech 5 games, are certainly our top priorities."

Hollenshead believes that outside use of the multi-platform engine will inevitably reflect on id's technology, making the decision to license the engine one that the company handles on a case-by-case basis.

"We think that the licensees...are going to have an impact on how the technology is perceived," he said.

Added Hollenshead: "Our philosophy on that has been that we'd rather have a small number of good-fit, high-quality developer licensees than a bunch that aren't really good fits or that may not be that bright of a licensee anyway."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 12, 2009 12:45 PM

    Nice shot at Epic. However it's also an issue that id doesn't have nearly the support resources or developer friendly tools that Epic does.

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      May 12, 2009 12:47 PM

      the tools for Id-tech5 is very nice from what I remember.. MUCH better than the previous tools that they've been using.

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      May 12, 2009 1:11 PM

      id probably just doesn't want to deal with a lawsuit for not having enough technical support or just "bad fits". I think thats a reference to the Silicon Knights lawsuit against Epic and how id doesn't want to have that happen to them.

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        May 12, 2009 1:29 PM

        Well, there are a lot of games that "look like Unreal Engine 3" (you know... texture pop-in, static lighting, and plastic-y skin materials) which is probably due to licensees not really pushing the engine in interesting ways. And they probably don't push it because the dark corners of the engine are less tested or less stable once you get away from Unreal 3 / Gears of War techniques.

        I think that id wants to avoid the possibility of anyone saying that a game "looks like id Tech 5". They want to make sure that their brand and their engine stand for visual quality, not just for a certain kind of look.

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          May 12, 2009 2:44 PM

          Words. You have a way with them.

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          May 12, 2009 3:59 PM

          Thanks, nice to see that Im not the only one with that idea. And that one of my favorite developers is
          probably on that train too.

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          May 12, 2009 6:30 PM

          Show me one UE3 game that only uses static lighting. I think going only dynamic is a mistake. A combination is still the best choice with current hardware.

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            May 12, 2009 9:07 PM

            Definitely. A static-heavy engine tends to look great in screenshots but rather poor in motion (As well as having long compile times for more complex maps), while a dynamic-only engine tends to have black shadows or flat looking ambient, along with poor framerate.

            I think the best combo on current hardware is a radiosity-based ambient map with dynamic lights over the top of that.

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      May 12, 2009 2:19 PM

      Id tends to support their licensees very very well, and last I heard it was Epic that was being sued for shitty engine support, not id.

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        May 12, 2009 6:30 PM

        Just because one developer filed suit doesn't mean a damn thing. Epic's tools are pretty damn good.

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      May 12, 2009 3:01 PM


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          May 12, 2009 7:11 PM

          Epic wasn't sued for their tools, they were sued because of their support for the coding and technology of the engine.

          And on that subject, you're ignoring the huge time saving base design points of id Tech 5 such as being able to run the exact same assets on four different platforms without any modification. UE3 can't do that.

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            May 12, 2009 7:48 PM

            Ummm, I am not sure what you mean, but it's entirely possible to make a cross platform game with UE3, just like it would be possible to make a game with id Tech 5 that couldn't run on current consoles. As for the lawsuit, when I say tools I am not just talking the editor, but everything they supply to help you code and make content. I don't know the details of the lawsuit, but because a company sues another doesn't mean there is merit in the accusations. Anyone can file a suit.

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              May 12, 2009 11:34 PM

              Last I remember,

              you and other people can work on the exact same spot at the exact same time. Changes made by the individual is immediately reflected on everyone's computer who are working on that part of the map.

              the same code and assets can be used across multiple platforms. The only difference is that when you compile the engine, you just have to change some settings Code-wise gets untouched. This is similar to MS promoting xna. You could make a game for pc and xbox 360 without massive code changes. You just need to change a few settings on compile for the different platforms.

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      May 12, 2009 4:31 PM

      I honestly don't think it's a shot at anyone. It's how they've always done things. They've been notorious at refusing to license the engine.

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