John Carmack Wins GDC Lifetime Achievement Award

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id Software co-founder, technical wizard and rocket man John Carmack has been named winner of this year's Game Developers Choice Awards Lifetime Achievement Award "for his contributions to the art and science of games."

"It's no exaggeration to say that John Carmack and id Software have had a monumental influence on all modern 3D games, but especially the first-person shooter genre," said GDC event director Meggan Scavio. "John is one of the key figures in the history of video games, and we're delighted to be giving him the Lifetime Achievement award this year."

Carmack-devised engines have powered id's games all the way from the 2D platformer Commander Keen and the revolutionary first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D, through the iconic Doom and varied Quake series all the way to id's upcoming Rage. Dozens of games from Anachronox to Half-Life have licensed these engines.

Carmack engines have also shaped gaming as we know it with robust support for user-created mods from Doom onwards, from simple custom levels to essentially whole new games. Team Fortress notably started life as a Quake mod and Counter-Strike creator Minh 'Gooseman' Le started modding with Navy SEALs for Quake.

Amateur developers have also benefited from id's policy of releasing the engine source code for its older games, with the engines from Wolfenstein 3D through to Quake 3 now open to anyone who wishes to tinker under the hood, resulting in stand-alone mods, engine overhauls, free indie games and even neurological research on mice.

The decision was made by a panel of industry figures including BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka, Deus Ex lead designer Harvey Smith, Ben Cousins of EA DICE, PopCap co-founder John Vechey and Far Cry 2 creative director Clint Hocking.

Previous fabled luminaries to lift Lifetime Achievement Awards include Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the Sim-tastic Will Wright and Civilization creator Sid Meier.

Carmack will be presented with the award by Will Wright during the 2010 Games Developers Conference at a ceremony on March 11 hosted by System Shock producer and Deus Ex creative director Warren Spector.

This ceremony will also see Valve Software's Gabe Newell receiving this year's Pioneer Award and the Ambassador Award going to Jerry Holkins, Mike Krahulik and Robert Khoo of Penny Arcade, as well as the unveiling of the other Game Developers Choice Awards winners.

From The Chatty
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    February 22, 2010 7:16 AM

    Where is John Romero?

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      February 22, 2010 7:20 AM

      "I can't win this without my buddy John Romero!", said Carmack while he unsuccessfully tried entering the room he'd get his award.

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      February 22, 2010 8:14 AM

      I can't help but feel that had the "Two Johnies" never parted ways we would have had an even greater history of id Software. They just seem so ying yang and while Carmack clearly showed he could hold up his end of the deal on his own, IMO, id Software never really got that 11 out of 10 boundary pushing energy it had with Romero.

      Carmack = Brains
      Romero = Soul

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        February 22, 2010 8:42 AM

        I disagree, given Romero's history compared to Carmack's.. id didn't lose much.

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          February 22, 2010 8:57 AM

          I've gotta admit, all of IDs output has been incredibly bland since Romero left. Romero pushed Carmacks engines, while Carmack kept Romero in check; since they split it just seems like people have been 'using' Carmacks engines and Romero... welp.

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            February 22, 2010 9:44 AM

            imagine they bring back Rmoero for doom 4 and Trent Reznor for the sounds. It will be the greatest thing ever.

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            February 22, 2010 10:08 AM

            yeah, bland and mainstream. Not that the games are bad, they're very good quality. It's just they lack the originality, the OMFGWTF appeal of their older stuff.

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            February 22, 2010 2:25 PM

            Romero seems a bit off the rocker, but I agree id was stronger with him. It's not necessarily about the individuals, but about the sum of the parts and the resulting complex mix of chemistry.

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          February 22, 2010 9:59 AM

          See PlayfulPuppy's reply.

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        February 22, 2010 10:50 PM

        The book "Masters of Doom" seems to correlate with that idea pretty well.

        When you have a master of technology and a master of "make it badass" in the same room, good things happen.

        The key requirement is for both to understand that the other is necessary.

        Having said that, I have played every id Software game, and will continue to do so. :)

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      February 22, 2010 12:47 PM

      can someone link that pic of Romero entering a q3 game and well...you know the one.

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      February 22, 2010 9:33 PM

      They are like Lennon & McCartney... pure genius